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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

Around the Non-League Grounds, No: 1: Success at Framlingham Town

PUBLISHED: 10:18 17 August 2018

Goalmouth action from Framlingham Town's first-ever home match in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, against Stowmarket Town (red shirts). Picture: CARL MARSTON

Goalmouth action from Framlingham Town's first-ever home match in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, against Stowmarket Town (red shirts). Picture: CARL MARSTON

Archant

Football writer Carl Marston dons his anorak to visit clubs in the region (and beyond) in his quest for good football and a good cup of tea. First up is Framlingham Town

The scene at Badingham Road at kick-off time as Framlingham Town host their first-ever home match at Step Five. Picture: CARL MARSTONThe scene at Badingham Road at kick-off time as Framlingham Town host their first-ever home match at Step Five. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Welcome to the first in a series of (who knows how many there will be) non-league grounds that I have visited, or will visit, during the course of this season.

And where better place to start than Badingham Road, the proud home of Framlingham Town, and more specifically Framlingham Sports Club.

An exciting season lies ahead for The Castlemen, who ply their trade just a few hundred yards from Framlingham Castle.

Relegated into the depths of Division One of the Suffolk & Ipswich League in 2011-12, from the Senior Division, the club has bounced back with a remarkable three promotions in the last four seasons.

The main stand at Badingham Road, the home of Framlingham Town FC, at kick-off time for the club's first-ever Thurlow Nun Premier home match. Picture: CARL MARSTONThe main stand at Badingham Road, the home of Framlingham Town FC, at kick-off time for the club's first-ever Thurlow Nun Premier home match. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Having been promoted back into the SIL Premier in 2014-15, the Castlemen were elevated into the Eastern Counties League for the first time the following season.

And, following a seventh-placed finish in their first campaign at Division One level, they finished second behind champions Woodbridge Town last term to reach the heady heights of the ECL Premier Division.

Alas, I wasn’t at Ely City to watch their historic first match at this level (Step Five in non-league circles, or in other words the ninth tier of the Football League pyramid) on the opening day of the season, but I did follow the scenic A1120 road through Stowupland and Debenham on a balmy evening to attend their first home fixture in the Premier Division, just three days later.

It was a big night for the Club, and an encouraging one (a crowd of more than 100), despite the disappointing result, a 3-0 defeat to promotion favourites Stowmarket Town.

Framlingham town sign.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFramlingham town sign. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

THE LOW-DOWN

Club: Framlingham Town FC

Founded: 1887

Ground: Badingham Road (since 1951)

League: (Thurlow Nunn) Eastern Counties League Premier Division

Manager: Liam Abrahams

Chairman Dean Warner

THE INTERVIEW

Dean Warner, has been associated with the Castlemen for more than 20 years and, in his current capacity as chairman, he has presided over the most successful spell in the Club’s history.

Naturally, he is proud of the Clubs achievements.

“I first became involved as a parent, when my son Darren was playing. Then I was a sponsor, a youth chairman, vice-senier chairman and now this is my fourth season as chairman,” explained Warner.

“Mel Aldis (former manager) was obviously a big factor in the club’s rise, as he is a big factor at any club that he is involved in.

“The club also had the ambition to go forward, so Mel returned at the right time. It was a good combination.

“Most of the current first-team players have come up through our youth team, so they all know each other very well.

“They work well together, and gel as a team, so everything fits together very well. We have all the pieces of the jigsaw together.

“We haven’t had to bring in new players from left, right and centre. They all have a feel for the club.

“The team did well in their first season in Division One (of the Thurlow Nunn), and even better the second time by winning promotion last season.

“All the committee have worked hard to move this club forward, as have the Sports Club – the football club just happens to be a big section of Framlingham Sports Club.

“We are in a tough league now, and I think ‘consolidation’ is a fair word to describe our aim for this season. I’m pretty sure we will do well, as soon as we find our feet at this level

“We have a new manager in Liam Abraham who is another club stalwart. In fact, Liam played in the same team as my son Darren, 20-plus years ago. He has been a good club-man.

“These last few years, the formula has just worked to bring success in a short space of time,” added Warner

CARL’S VISIT

Tues, August 7: v Stowmarket Town (3-0 home defeat). Att: 111.

On the pitch, Stowmarket’s experience told, especially in midfield, but Fram showed enough spirit and endeavour to suggest that they will not look out of place at this level.

Off the pitch, this was a very hospitable evening, capped by tea and cake in the directors/officials room at half-time, which always tends to lead to me write a better class of report for the following day’s newspaper!

In our new daily feature, we take a look back at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town history.

Paul Hurst doesn’t expect midfielder Teddy Bishop to be out for too long despite picking up a hamstring injury but Jon Walters is now a doubt for Saturday’s game with Bolton.

Ipswich Town came-from-behind to draw 1-1 with Brentford at Portman Road last night. STUART WATSON gives his snap verdict.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst hailed the character of his players following their gutsy comeback draw against Brentford at Portman Road tonight.

Andy Warren hands out his player grades following Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw with Brentford at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town produced a second-half turnaround as they battled back to secure a 1-1 draw against Brentford on the night the club paid tribute to the late Kevin Beattie.

Ipswich Town take on Brentford this evening as they search for their first victory under manager Paul Hurst (7.45pm).

Ipswich Town’s players, staff, fans and legends paid an emotional tribute to the late, great, Kevin Beattie prior to kick-off of this evening’s clash with Brentford.

Paul Hurst is not hiding from the fact he could face the sack if his winless start to life as Ipswich Town manager goes on much longer.

Paul Hurst knows his Ipswich Town side will need to put in a special performance on what is sure to be an emotional evening at Portman Road, as everyone connected with Ipswich Town remembers the great Kevin Beattie.

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