DAVE Cooper will have a chance this weekend to win his maiden trophy as boss of AFC Ludlow.

Cooper’s newly-re-named team host rivals Church Stretton in the final of the Ludlow Hospital Cup at the SBS Stadium on Sunday (3pm kick-off).

But the new Ludlow manager has also set his sights on retaining two of his prized assets — Nathan and Dale Hodge.

“Dale Hodge has been having trials at TNS and Telford and Nathan has had a few offers and he wants to wait and see what happens,” revealed Cooper.

“Nathan lives in Shrewsbury and Wellington Amateurs and Haughmond are trying to sign him.

“We don’t want Nathan or Dale to leave and we will be trying our best to keep them,” said Cooper.

Ludlow reached the final of the Ludlow Hospital Cup after a 5-1 win over Clee Hill.

Goals from Craig Breakwell, Chris Breakwell, Andy Walker, Adie Marsh and an own goal gave Ludlow their semi-final victory.

“I thought the scoreline flattered us,” said Cooper. “Four of our goals came from corners.”

Rob Vass has returned to the Ludlow area and Cooper said Simon Bradley, who was with Woofferton last term, has been impressive in training.

“I might have to play in goal for a few games,“ said Cooper.

“We are waiting for Ian Havard to come back from Canada and another goalkeeper is in the RAF and I am a bit worried he might be called up to work at London 2012.”

Ludlow are playing in the Mercian Regional Football League Premier Division this season and host Ellesmere Rangers Reserves on August 11. Ludlow then entertain Church Stretton four days later.

Meanwhile, Kate Woodhouse is the new secretary of AFC Ludlow and Danny Crowther has been appointed treasurer.

Roger Wilding, Leonard Rees and Tim Moriarty have joined the new committee formed last week.

“We’re starting with a fresh brush and we will be running our own finances,” said club spokesman Mike Seaborne.

“We are still in negotiations with Ludlow Stadium Facilities and have agreed a rent in principle.

It’s a completely new venture and we want to see if anyone from the area would like to join us.”

For more details about AFC Ludlow, ring Mike Seaborne on 07866 956747 or Kate Woodhouse on 07969 427759.