Ready to return

HE led both Ipswich Wanderers and Hadleigh United into the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.Yet Alan Dilloway finds himself on the sidelines and still looking for a club to manage, ten months after severing connections with Clacton Town.

By Elvin King

HE led both Ipswich Wanderers and Hadleigh United into the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.

Yet Alan Dilloway finds himself on the sidelines and still looking for a club to manage, ten months after severing connections with Clacton Town.

“I would love to get back involved,” said Dilloway today.

“A new challenge would suit me down to the ground, but there have been very opportunities.

“I was in for the Diss Town job, but like a number of recent appointments they went for a manager who also had the ability to put money into the club.

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“Ipswich Wanderers and AFC Sudbury also went down the same path.”

Dilloway led Hadleigh to the First Division championship in 1994 and repeated the feat with Ipswich Wanderers four years later.

But he says that his biggest achievement was turning round the fortunes of Clacton Town.

“When I took over they had lost nearly all their first-team squad,” said Dilloway. “We had to start from scratch, and put in plenty of graft.

“Within three years I am convinced we would have seriously competed for the title if the plug had not been pulled on finances.

“Instead of going close - or even winning - the Ridgeons League last season, Clacton collected just one point as they had to play their matches using mainly youth-team players.

“From being potentially one of the best seasons in Clacton's history it became a horrendous campaign.”

Although no longer manager, Dilloway was contracted to Clacton, and it was not until March last year that he finally severed his connections with the Essex club.

“The longer it goes on the more likely I am to be forgotten,” said Dilloway, who watches his local club Hadleigh, and also gets around seeing matches on most Saturdays.

Danny Laws' Needham Market can go top of the Premier Division with a win over Wisbech Town at Bloomfields - as long as current leaders Mildenhall slip up at Harwich & Parkeston.

Former Ipswich Town central defender Gerard Nash makes his third appearance for Leiston in their home game against Newmarket Town, while Ipswich Wanderers hope to complete a successful week with a home victory over King's Lynn Reserves.

Joe Francis, who is currently in the middle of a two-week trail with Ipswich Town and scored in a reserve fixture at Portman Road on Wednesday, is set to return to the Woodbridge Town side for their match against bottom-placed CRC from Cambridge.

In the First Division, Ely and Swaffham are threatening to break adrift at the top, and Walsham-le-Willows, Hadleigh United and Debenham Leisure Centre need to keep on their mettle to stay in the forefront of the promotion race.

Walsham and Hadleigh face potentially tricky home matches, but Debenham will fancy their chances at second-from-bottom Downham.

Stowmarket have a tough task at Swaffham and Whitton United will hoping pitch conditions improve so that they can entertain March.

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