Absent Coulson is happy to back Bay

Whitley Bay skipper David Coulson is confident the FA Vase holders can overcome Wroxham next month to ease his injury heartache. Coulson must settle for supporting his men from the sidelines after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage in Bay's epic semi-final win over Barwell.

Whitley Bay skipper David Coulson is confident the FA Vase holders can overcome Wroxham next month to ease his injury heartache.

Coulson must settle for supporting his men from the sidelines after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage in Bay's epic semi-final win over Barwell.

The 26-year-old defender lifted the trophy 12 months ago at Wembley and admitted missing out on another showpiece occasion is just as painful as his long road to rehab.

"I'm sure when the boys come out that tunnel again on May 9 it will hit me all over again," said Coulson.


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"The biggest thing for me last year was actually coming out for the warm-up and the crowd going up to cheer you on. Not to have that again is going to be heart-wrenching but what can you do?

"I did it in the first leg of the semi-final and when I went over I thought I had broken my leg but when we got the MRI scan they confirmed it was a cruciate. It's probably one of the worst injuries I could have and really bad timing. I thought it had sunk in until we were at St James' last week for the Northumberland Senior Cup final and watching the lads play at the stadium just got us a bit. Coming down to Wembley it hits you all over again."

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Coulson insists the holders will handle the favourites' tag against David Batch's Trafford Park outfit.

"Anything can happen in a final so I don't believe that is an issue," he said. "We're both under pressure but hopefully we'll perform on the day like we can and if we do then we can beat anyone.

"I was saying to the Wroxham boys it was so loud last year you couldn't even hear yourselves talking on the pitch, so I couldn't imagine what it would be like with 90,000.

"We've had them watched and I don't know if we will watch them again before the final but we've done our work on them - just like they have with us. The fact we've been here before should be a help but I hope it doesn't go the other way and we are a little complacent. I don't think that will happen."

Coulson traces the origins of Bay's recent FA Vase success to a semi-final defeat against Wroxham's former Ridgeons rivals Lowestoft two years ago.

"When we got knocked out by Lowestoft we thought we'd never get this chance again but to get here last year was like a dream come true and to get here a second time is absolutely unbelievable," he said. "We've basically the same team as last year, but it's changed quite a lot from the year before when we went out at Lowestoft.

"We've got a fantastic support and people back home are buzzing again. No one comes near us really, not even Gateshead who are in the Conference Premier. So they'll come down, shout and scream and hopefully we'll get even more than last year."

Wroxham are inRidgeons League action at Wivenhoe tonight (7.45pm).

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