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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

New centre all set for Suffolk FA

PUBLISHED: 12:51 12 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

SOCCER: After a decade of talking, Suffolk Football Association is to have a brand new purpose-built county headquarters.

It is to be built just off the A14 at the Cedars Park development in Stowmarket and agreement has been reached this week over the purchase of the land.

SOCCER

AFTER a decade of talking, Suffolk Football Association is to have a brand new purpose-built county headquarters.

It is to be built just off the A14 at the Cedars Park development in Stowmarket and agreement has been reached this week over the purchase of the land.

Once finished, the three full time employees currently housed at Felaw Maltings in Ipswich will move over to Stowmarket.

The scheme will cost in the region of £400,000 with the Football Association supplying a substantial amount of the money.

But over half will come from the Suffolk FA, who have been putting away a sizeable sum for the last ten years or so for this very purpose.

Originally there were plans to have a site which included a state of the art pitch as well as dressing rooms and a clubhouse.

But following experiences of other counties who paid considerable sums for similar centres, it was decided to drop the idea of providing a county ground.

Martin Head, the Suffolk FA secretary, said: "Counties who have invested in a site that includes a pitch have found that it has not been successful.

"We are sure our headquarters will become a considerable asset to the football fraternity of Suffolk. Not only will it house our three full time employees but also county officials like myself.

"There will be a reasonably sized room where we can hold all county meetings including the annual general meeting.

"And there will be an opportunity for clubs to use the facility. The county has been talking about this for over ten years, and it will soon come to fruition.

"The new building will improve working conditions and consequently the service we provide."

This has been one of the tasks new secretary Head has been working on since taking over from Bill Steward last Spring.

How has the former player and Stowmarket, Sudbury Town, Harwich and Parkeston and Ipswich Wanderers manager taken to his new key role?

"It has been much more difficult than I expected," he said. "I have needed all the help given by Bill and another county stalwart Gordon Blake.

"It has been a steep learning curve and has not been easy. What has hit home is the number of excellent people involved in running Suffolk football.

"They work long hours for practically nothing in return and their efforts are not always appreciated when looking from the other side of the fence."

Head says that it will take him some while to really find his feet. But one of the goals he has set himself is to improve relationships between clubs and the Suffolk FA and between the Suffolk FA and the Football Association.

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