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Cuss wants an end to feud between Wimborne and Poole
STEVE Cuss wants warring Dorset rivals Wimborne and Poole to draw a line under their simmering feud.
Magpies boss Cuss called for a truce after watching his team set up the first Dorset Senior Cup final between the clubs in the 33-year history of the competition.
Wimborne’s deserved 1-0 victory over Weymouth on Wednesday came just 24 hours after Poole had eased to a 4-1 win over Gillingham Town in their semi-final.
Three-times winners Poole will face Wimborne, who have won the trophy twice and been runners-up on seven occasions, on April 9 with the final likely to be staged at Dorchester.
Poole and Wimborne, separated by just eight miles, have enjoyed a fierce rivalry down the years, although the competitive edge has threatened to boil over in recent months.
Only this week, Wimborne were accused by Poole of being “disrespectful” after an intended prank, mocking stricken Dolphins midfielder Glenn Howes, had backfired on the Magpies.
This came just a couple of months after Poole boss Tom Killick had fanned the flames by publicly stating that no Wimborne player would improve his team.
Wimborne boss Cuss, who spent four years on the coaching staff at Poole before taking the reins at Cuthbury in 2011, told the Daily Echo: “Both Poole and Wimborne are fantastic football clubs with great people.
“Sometimes, things get taken out of context and people say things probably without thinking first. It is about football and I am a football man. I want my players and everyone at my club to concentrate on football and, hopefully, Poole will do the same and we will have a good final.
“There is always going to be a bit of natural rivalry due to the closeness and history of the clubs. In recent times, I have come from Poole to Wimborne and have brought a few players who had been successful at Poole.
“Both clubs have to deal with that and we both have to be sensible and look at ourselves. The cup final is for local football and we have got to make it a showpiece.
“I spent four great seasons at Poole and we were successful. They have carried it on and, locally, are the club that are moving forward. They have got a terrific squad and, although we are slightly behind them in terms of experience, we are closing the gap.
“I feel our young players are learning all the time and, the more they play at this level, the better they seem to be getting. I trust my squad and I really think the final is going to be a great game.”
Wimborne will be bidding to boost their chances of reaching the Southern League Division One South & West play-offs when they host Abingdon United tomorrow (3pm).
Magpies: (from) Harvell, Arnold, Maybury, Costello, Brian, Blake, Kemble, Hubbard, Smith, Davidson, Webb, Sainsbury, Peprah-Annan, Cole, Jeffes, Ackerman.