Seasiders are one win from promotion

A VICTORY for Felixstowe and Walton United against Great Yarmouth at Dellwood Avenue tomorrow will see the Seasiders promoted to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.

By Elvin King

A VICTORY for Felixstowe and Walton United against Great Yarmouth at Dellwood Avenue tomorrow will see the Seasiders promoted to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.

And chairman Tony Barnes today forecast more success to come.

Barnes, vice chairman Chris Hunton and the backroom staff must take credit for Felixstowe's current position having picked out Steve Potts to manage the club last year.

Former Grundisburgh boss Potts has come up with the goods, and an unbeaten league run of 16 games has seen Felixstowe move to the brink of promotion.

And Barnes can see the good times continuing in 2006/07.

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He said: “Most teams that go up look to consolidate. But that is not a word that appears in Steve's dictionary.

“He will go into every match looking to win - and to finish as high in the table as he can.

“And it will be my job to ensure that we can back up the ambition and quality that will be shown of the field with similar ideals throughout the club.

“We will support Steve and his team to the hilt.”

Barnes joined Felixstowe in the 2000/01 season when a merger took place with his former club Walton United.

The idea was to start a new era and build a strong base from youth football upwards that would see football in Felixstowe thrive again.

It has taken time with Felixstowe relegated in Barnes' first full season and then not looking like getting out of the First Division.

And for most of this season it did not appear Potts would bring immediate success.

“It seemed we would need next season to reach Steve's objectives,” added Barnes. “But this late surge has put us so close to going up.

“I cannot speak too highly of Steve and his assistant Steve Buckle.

“I was impressed with Steve's work at Grundisburgh when I played against them for Walton. I also managed Walton briefly.

“I admired his discipline and the way he organised Grundisburgh.

“He did not take too much persuading to join us, and the prospect of stepping up a level excited him.”

Felixstowe, who need two more points to be certain of promotion with their final game at Debenham next Saturday, had their highest crowd of the season (221) in their 4-2 win over Hadleigh last Monday.

“It would be nice to be getting that every game next season,” said Barnes, who said plans are afoot to knock down the current clubhouse and build a new one in two or three years.

“We have been given the OK by the league for Premier Division football with the proviso that we build a standing stand and install pitch-side toilets.”

Yarmouth will not be easy opponents having gone unbeaten since Felixstowe beat them on March 7.

It has already been a good week for Felixstowe with a 6-0 win at Thetford last Saturday, and the reserves drawing 1-1 with Walsham on Wednesday to clinch the Ridgeons League Reserve North Division title.

The second string now play in the Championship play-off against the eventual South Division winners on May 3.

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