Adams looks for change of fortunes

LOCAL SOCCER: Felixstowe and Walton United are at home to championship favourites Cambridge City Reserves tomorrow with more on their minds that an unlikely three points.

By Elvin King

LOCAL SOCCER

FELIXSTOWE and Walton United are at home to championship favourites Cambridge City Reserves tomorrow with more on their minds that an unlikely three points.

The Dellwood Avenue-based club find themselves second from bottom in the First Division of the Jewson League – after relegation from the Premier last May.

Chairman Tony Barnes and manager Paul Adams must be wondering what else can go wrong.

The recent gales even destroyed part of the clubhouse, with Barnes still having a sense of humour. He quipped in his programme notes: "The wind didn't do a good enough job – the building is still standing!"

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Many local residents do not appreciate football being played at Dellwood Avenue, and Suffolk Coastal Council have received recent complaints for what Barnes describes as 'very trivial matters'.

"We are providing sport and enjoyment to more children than any other organisation in the town," added Barnes. "In many other parts of the UK, we would be funded for this and held in high esteem within the community – but not in Felixstowe."

Barnes can be forgiven for wondering why he, and his off-the-field team, bother.

The fortunes of the first team are, however, the saddest aspect of the current situation. Although far from being blessed with help from the local community, Felixstowe's financial situation is no worse than most of their First Division rivals.

But they have been unable to make any impact with just two wins in 12 games – a sad record indeed.

Adams has served Felixstowe well during 16 seasons – covering three periods – as manager. He

confirms that he is not going to walk away.

"Going on results, I don't deserve to be here," he said: "But I will stay as long as I am wanted. I won't be forced out. As long as I've got the support of the chairman and vice-chairman, that's fine by me.

"Felixstowe is the only club I want to manage, and if I leave here I won't take another job. I love this club and it hurts like hell losing games."

Continuing on from his chairman's theme Adams added: "We've got 200 kids between the ages of eight and 16. We've taken them off the streets and given them quality coaching, but we're still not recognised as doing our bit for the community.

"It's been the same for the past 25 years, but I'm convinced we'll get there in the end.

"If you keep knocking on the door somebody will eventually open it. The sooner the council recognise the football club is an asset to the community the better.

"It's a real credit to the club that it has survived despite all the obstructions put in the way."

Adams cites injuries and unavailabilities as the main reason for the poor playing record, and he took a swipe at players who show a lack of commitment.

"I know that football does not always take priority in life – no-one knows that better than myself – but when players are picked and do well, why do they suddenly become unavailable for the next game?"

Last Saturday's defeat at Haverhill was Felixstowe's seventh in succession, and Paul said: "We have good people in place who want to take the club forward, but it's not going to happen overnight. What we've got to do is to regroup and look to the future."

A youthful Cambridge side will provide stiff opposition tomorrow. Whitton United play at Swaffham Town, with Needham Market at home to March Town United.

In the Premier Division, Stowmarket Town play their first game for ten days when Wroxham visit Greens Meadow in an attractive looking fixture.

Ipswich Wanderers are at home to Dereham Town and Woodbridge Town play host to a Tiptree side still smarting from being removed from the FA Vase by Diss Town on Saturday.

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