Ian is closing in on first medal at 37

IAN Watson wants to lose his 'nearly man' tag by helping Grundisburgh win the Metaltec SIL Senior Division title.Three more wins should be good enough starting with a visit to Ransomes tomorrow, but Watson (37) is taking nothing for granted.

By Elvin King

IAN Watson wants to lose his 'nearly man' tag by helping Grundisburgh win the Metaltec SIL Senior Division title.

Three more wins should be good enough starting with a visit to Ransomes tomorrow, but Watson (37) is taking nothing for granted.

“I have yet to win a winner's medal in Saturday football,” said the central defender, who switched to outfield when he could not get a game as a teenage goalkeeper at Ransomes.

“It is proving to be very frustrating and losing this season's final of the Suffolk Senior Cup and semi-final of the Omnico Cup has set my nerves jangling again.

“The worst defeat to take was on Saturday when second-placed Haughley beat us in a league fixture.

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“This is the competition that has always been number one on our list, and thankfully we were able to gain revenge over Melton St Audry's for our Omnico Cup defeat with a 4-0 league win on Tuesday.”

Watson has been on the verge of a winner's medal a number of times, and is still living down the disappointment of moving to play Ridgeons League football with Bury Town the season that Walton United won the double.

That was 1998/99 and Watson recalls: “I watched the Suffolk Senior Cup final from the Portman Road stands with the Walton committee.

“I originally switched to Grundisburgh, but after a dozen games that season I went over to Bury.

“I have no regrets as it fulfilled my ambition of playing Ridgeons League football.”

A move to Felixstowe and Walton United when the two premier sides in Felixstowe merged was followed by a stint at Felixstowe United as assistant manager.

“We gained promotion from Division One, but as runners-up so I missed out again on a medal,” added Watson, who plays Civil Service representative football.

“I was playing midweek for Woodbridge Town at the time. One of my best memories was helping Felixstowe United reach senior football and helping Woodbridge stave off relegation with a last-ditch result over Ipswich Wanderers all in the same week.”

Watson fulfilled a dream by playing at Portman Road in the Senior Cup final last month - and now he wants to get his hands on a winner's medal.

“I plan to do my own open-top bus trip round Felixstowe if I do,” he quipped.

“There is no date in my diary to hang up my boots, but hopefully this will prove to be my big year.

“Grundisburgh are the best club I have played for and although I don't want to tempt fate I am confident they will be crowned champions.”

The Haughley defeat was Grundisburgh's first league loss since October 21. Cockfield United's 2-0 defeat at Haughley on Tuesday was their seventh in succession and they are relegated after four seasons in the top flight.

Second-from-bottom Achilles face a crucial game against Leiston St Margarets.

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