Woodbridge Town crowned champions

WOODBRIDGE Town have been crowned champions of the Ridgeons Youth League Central Division for the first time.The club, who joined the under-18 league when it formed three years ago, clinched the title thanks to a 2-0 win at home to Leiston on Monday night courtesy of goals from Ross Beech (penalty) and Jon Davies.

By Elvin King

WOODBRIDGE Town have been crowned champions of the Ridgeons Youth League Central Division for the first time.

The club, who joined the under-18 league when it formed three years ago, clinched the title thanks to a 2-0 win at home to Leiston on Monday night courtesy of goals from Ross Beech (penalty) and Jon Davies.

Woodbridge have only lost once all season, winning 13 and drawing four of their 18 games and are now five points clear of second-placed Walsham-le-Willows, who have just one game left to play, away to Soham tonight.

Woodbridge's achievement is even more noteworthy as manager Sean Thacker has regularly fielded several under-16s in the second half of the season in what was already a predominantly under-17 side.

The majority of the Woodbridge team are drawn from the SETEC scheme at Copleston Sports College, which is run by Sean Thacker, who also manages the youth team with reserve team manager Glenn Read as his assistant.

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Several members of the youth team have also been playing regular reserve team football this season while Ben Garnham, Luke Read and Ben Seaman have all progressed to the first team squad on a regular basis as the season has unfolded.

There they have joined the likes of strikers Allicion Blake and Joe Francis, goalkeeper Marcus Garnham and defenders Grant Monaghan and Arran Sheppard (both of whom are still eligible for the youth team) who have all come through the SETEC scheme in the past four years to form the core of manager Mick Stockwell's young squad.

As Central Division winners, Woodbridge will be away in the semi-final of the end-of-season play-offs to either South Division winners Braintree or West Division winners Buntingford.

The winners will meet the victors of the other semi-final between the East Division champions, either Gorleston or Lowestoft, and the North Division winners, either Blackstones from Stamford in Lincolnshire or King's Lynn, in the final.

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