Martlesham tournament is fair and fun

GALLERY Martlesham Youth Football Club once again proved a shining example for fair play and respect at their recent annual summer tournament.

Stuart Watson

MARTLESHAM Youth Football Club once again proved a shining example for fair play and respect at their recent annual summer tournament.

With referee numbers at an all time low in grassroots football, the Football Association finally decided to crack down on the growing levels of abuse and intimidation in the game by launching their 'Respect' campaign earlier this year.

Martlesham have rigorously upheld the policies of the scheme and, as a result, they were awarded with the Felixstowe & District Youth League's Fair Play award at the end of the season.

In addition, at the club's recent annual summer tournament at Suffolk Police Headquarters, there were no yellow or red cards shown across the 54 games between a variety of age groups.

Martlesham chairman Hugh Curle said: “We place a big emphasis at this club on playing sport in the right spirit. We have a code of conduct and we apply that strictly not only to the players, but the coaches, managers and parents too.”

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The tournament itself once again proved a huge success, despite the efforts of the weather to dampen any enthusiasm.

The host club won just one age category on the day, the under-8 competition, while three of their other sides claimed runners-up spots.

Curle said: “We are not a win-at-all-costs club because we don't go round trying to recruit all the best players. That is probably reflected in our recent league positions where we have the occasional success, but not every year and in every age group.”

Curle, who also manages the club's Under-18 side, added: “I like to think we are fair to our players and give them all as equal an opportunity to play and enjoy the game as possible.

“Selecting teams can be a balancing act though and it only gets harder as they get older because naturally they get more competitive and the different levels of ability become much more apparent.”

Martlesham Youth Football Club are now looking forward to welcoming junior players from the French side Entente Sportif Du Layon following the successful visit of their Under-10 and Under-11 sides to France in Easter.

Reflecting on another successful summer tournament, Curle added: “Even with all the rain there was never a question of cancelling the tournament, so tribute to the ground staff of the Suffolk Constabulary who maintained the facility to such a high standard.”

The tournament was sponsored by the Evening Star, East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich Mortgage Centre, Shire Trophies, Total Football, Scrutton Bland Ltd, Caterhire, Ipswich Town.

Teams on the day were sponsored by: Ipswich Park & Ride, Explore Get On Board, Martlesham Monthly Magazine, Plumbase & Bristan, Enable IT, Rust & Kemp Builders Ltd, Bruce Copping Ceramic Wall & Floor Tiling, Time Appointments, Farthing Singleton & Hastings Funeral Services.

Martlesham Youth Football Club Summer Tournament Results

Under-8: Winners - Martlesham A (12pts), Runner-up - SKY A (11pts).

Under-9: Winners - Kesgrave A (15pts), Runners-up - Martlesham A (10pts).

Under-10: Winners - Holbrook (15pts), Runners-up - Kesgrave AFC (10pts).

Under-11: Winners - Woodbridge A (13pts), Runners-up - Holbrook (10pts).

Under-12: Winners - Sutton Heath (10pts), Runners-up - Martlesham Mustangs B (10pts).

Under-13: Winners - Kesgrave A (11pts), Runners-up - Martlesham A (10pts).

Under-14: Winners - Trimley (15pts), Runners-up - SKY (9pts).

Under-15: Winners - Kesgrave Town (15pts), Runners-up - Kirton Kestrels (9pts).

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