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Felixstowe Harpers manager had to be ruthless during summer at current SIL Senior Division leaders

New Felixstowe Harpers man, Tye Webb.

New Felixstowe Harpers man, Tye Webb.

James Ager

Felixstowe Harpers manager Peter Gorham admitted he had to be ruthless during the summer if his team were to challenge for the top spots in the SIL Senior Division.

And his plan seems to have worked so far as a new-look Harpers side have shot to the top of the league after three wins and a draw at the start of the season.

Gorham brought in a whole host of Ipswich-based players and his current squad features just three players who helped the club finish eighth last season.

Arguably his hardest decision was to allow long-serving skipper Louis Elliston to leave after more than a decade with Harpers.

“If I had kept with the same group, we would have been looking at another mid-table finish again,” said Gorham.

“I have brought a whole new squad in and to be fair they have got off to a good start, there is a good togetherness,

“It was horrible making the decisions in the summer, especially letting my captain go who had been with the club for 13 years and served the club really well.

“But to go forward you have got to be a bit ruthless, and we both felt that it was probably the way forward. There were no hard feelings.”

The new boys include former Stowmarket midfielder Mical Moore, ex-Henley Athletic man Ben Taylor and erstwhile Cranes Sports striker, Tye Webb.

So far Gorham’s revamped squad have won on the road at Benhall St Mary and Leiston St Margarets, defeated Haughley at home, and drawn 1-1 with visiting AFC Hoxne.

Tomorrow, Harpers host East Bergholt United.

“We had a topsy-turvy pre-season where we won some games and lost some, but there is a buzz around the place at the moment and everyone is playing for each other,” Gorham added.

“We want to win something this season.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, last season’s champions Henley, go to last term’s runners-up, Achilles.

Two of the promoted teams meet as AFC Hoxne host Benhall St Mary, Coplestonians go to Bramford United, Crane Sports entertain Haughley United, Westerfield head to Grundisburgh, Capel St Mary visit Leiston St Margarets and Wenhaston are on the road at Ransomes Sports.

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Ipswich Town host Sheffield Wednesday in a televised Championship match tonight (7.45pm ko). STUART WATSON previews the action.

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Episode One: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren discuss Ipswich Town’s draw at Hull City, hear from Mick McCarthy and Jordan Spence and make the first pitches for football’s Room 101.

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