Adams eyes a new future for Felixstowe
LOCAL SOCCER: Felixstowe and Walton United are doing well to survive.So says manager Paul Adams, who takes his third-from-bottom side to play Needham Market in the First Division of the Jewson League tomorrow.
By Elvin King
FELIXSTOWE and Walton United are doing well to survive.
So says manager Paul Adams, who takes his third-from-bottom side to play Needham Market in the First Division of the Jewson League tomorrow.
"It is a wonder the club survived in the Premier Division for so long," he said. "We should be an asset to the town, but we appear to be the poor relations."
Relegated from the Premier Division at the end of last season, after surviving a number of serious scares in previous years, Felixstowe have struggled to make any impact at a lower level.
- 1 Ipswich bricklayer dragged wife out of car before kicking and punching her
- 2 'Despicable racism' condemned after letter in post
- 3 Ipswich man appears in court charged with child sex offences
- 4 'It's what I know and love': Former lorry driver opens food truck on A12
- 5 Homeless man allegedly stabbed man who offered help
- 6 10 Suffolk celebrities and where they went to school
- 7 Fire crews called to fire on flat balcony in busy Ipswich road
- 8 School in Ipswich 'proud' of good Ofsted report
- 9 Peugeot stolen from Ipswich pub car park
- 10 Delays on A14 after Orwell Bridge incident
They recently lost ten consecutive matches, although they picked up a welcome 2-1 win over bottom-placed Warboys at Dellwood Avenue last Saturday.
There has been a long-running battle between the club and local council over a lack of investment at the ground, and this rift has certainly not had a positive effect on the stature of football at the highest level in Felixstowe.
"We are doing well to survive," confirmed Adams, which is a sad reflection on football in a town accepted as one of the most affluent in the region.
"We are not playing on a level playing field. Other clubs in the First Division have better facilities and a much better chance of attracting the better players.
"A win over Warboys will hopefully prove to be a start for us, but we have been treading water now for so long that it is not easy to look ahead with any confidence.
"The officers of the club try so hard to make improvements, but there will certainly be no short-term solution as far as results are concerned.
"With a severe lack of recognition from the council we have no option than to soldier on. Since the merger with Walton United we have put a big emphasis on youth football.
"I have already thrown in a number of talented kids, but it is really unfair to put them into a losing side. Our future rests with developing talent from within the town, but this takes time.
"Injuries to eight senior players, and a lack of continuity in selection caused by non-availability, is my main on-field problem."
Adams is now in his third spell in charge at Dellwood Avenue, and he enjoyed a long, successful period in charge when his playing days first ended.
Despite his problems, and a succession of defeats, he has no plans to throw in the towel.
"I am not walking away," he said. "I will be in charge of Felixstowe and Walton United as long as the committee want me to be."
Also in the First Division, leaders Hadleigh United travel to Leiston where they will not find three points easy to come by. Whitton United are away to Cambridge City Reserves with both clubs in the midst of the promotion battle.
Stowmarket Town can make up for the disappointment of losing at home to Lowestoft Town, when they visit neighbours Bury Town in the Premier Division.
Ipswich Wanderers are at home to Wisbech, who may not travel all the way from deepest Cambridgeshire with too much conviction just prior to Christmas, while Woodbridge Town are at Newmarket Town.
The Metaltec SIL sees Walsham-le-Willows back in action, and they know that they will be in for a tough, if sociable, time when they visit Old Newton.
Injury-hit Ipswich Athletic have a potential classic at home to Grundisburgh, with Julian Beaumont likely to keep his fantastic scoring run going when lowly Crane Sports take on bottom-of-the-table Leiston St Margaret's.
East Bergholt can keep up their title challenge with a victory at Stone Lodge Lane, Ipswich, against Achilles, while Capel Plough can pick up welcome points against a Woodbridge Athletic side who began the season like an express train but are now in danger of going down to junior football.
MIKE Steward from Stowmarket, a former Bury St Edmunds Football School student who is on a football scholarship at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, USA, has been invited for trials with the British Universities team
"Mark was an excellent student, and part of the Suffolk county team which won the national U19
championships. He is a great ambassador for the football school," said Jonathan Warnock, Bury Football School manager. Stewart has his trial on January 4.
Another former BFS student has also been selected for trials for a British Universities team that plays in an international tournament in South Korea next August.
Mark Debenham, 22, from Great Saxham took part in trials at Lilleshall on Wednesday. He is in the third year of a four-year soccer scholarship at the same university in the USA as Stewart.