Bert van Marwijk once won the cup as a player at AZ in 1978, but since then one final appearance as the coach of Fortuna Sittard is all he has tasted, and it was bittersweet, ending in defeat. Time the record was put straight then Sunday when Feyenoord face FC Utrecht in the latest final. An occasion that also marks Dutch Player of the Year Dirk Kuyt’s last game for Utrecht, before his move to the Kuip.

Van Marwijk was forthright about his feeling on the eve of the game. ‘It is a great prize. Obviously I’d rather win the title, but it you don’t do that then the cup is a nice alternative. It certainly isn’t a consolation prize. It is mainly the press who belittle the tournament, the players and coaches certainly don’t.’ Van Marwijk has been faced with a number of setbacks this past week in his pursuit of the trophy. The loss of Kees van Wonderen and Shinji Ono has been a bodyblow. The medics at the club have been working overtime to get the duo fit, but Van Wonderen for one looks very unlikely to play. His replacement will be Glenn Loovens. Shinji’s fate will be undecided until after the players warm up half an hour before kickoff. The Japanese becomes even more vital with the absence of Van Wonderen and Van Marwijk will surely feel a gamble is worthwhile. If Ono doesn’t make it, Brett Emerton (and not Kike Acuña) will step into midfield and Chong-Gug Song will take up leftback duties. AMSTEL CUP FINAL, SUNDAY 1 JUNE 2003 FC-UTRECHT- FEYENOORD Venue: Kuip Kickoff: 6pm Probable teams FC UTRECHT Wapenaar; Vreven, Zwaanswijk, Schut, Shew-Atjon; Tanghe, De Jong, Bosschaart; Kuijt; Gluscevic, Van den Bergh. FEYENOORD Lodewijks; Song (Emerton), Loovens, De Nooijer, Paauwe; Kalou, Bosvelt, Emerton (Ono), Van Persie; Buffel, Van Hooijdonk. THE ROAD TO THE FINAL Round of last 16 De Graafschap-FC Utrecht 2-3 1-0 Hertog (12’), 2-0 Hertog (53’), 2-1 Roiha (74’), 2-2 Kuyt (77’), 2-3 Jochemsen (81’) Feyenoord-AGOVV 6-1 1-0 Lurling (42’), 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, 5-0 en 6-0 Van Persie (45’, 47’,54’, 61’ and 64’), 6-1 Juliana (88’) Quarters Excelsior-FC Utrecht 1-3 0-1 Jochemsen (5’), 0-2 Van den Bergh (33’), 1-2 Buys (54’), 1-3 Schut (56’) Feyenoord-Vitesse 3-1 1-0 Kalou (3’), 1-1 Peeters (26’), 2-1 en 3-1 Van Persie (60’ and 65’) Semis FC Utrecht-PSV 2-1 1-0 Van den Bergh (16’), 2-0 Tanghe (58’), 2-1 Kezman (62’) Feyenoord-Ajax 1-0 1-0 Bosvelt (53’)

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