Football club's amazing run of bad luck

THEIR season has not even begun yet, but one of the region's non-league football clubs is hoping it has already used up its share of bad luck.Kirkley Football Club, from Lowestoft, has had a traumatic build-up to the most important season in its long and proud history.

By David Lennard

THEIR season has not even begun yet, but one of the region's non-league football clubs is hoping it has already used up its share of bad luck.

Kirkley Football Club, from Lowestoft, has had a traumatic build-up to the most important season in its long and proud history.

Its preparations for the club's first campaign in the Ridgeons League Premier Division have been dogged by a catalogue of mishaps.

The unlucky run began when four pre-season friendly matches were cancelled because of call-offs from the opposing teams.

Then, a mini-bus taking the Suffolk side to a match at Southend Manor broke down, causing that game to be scrapped as well,

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They managed to start Tuesday's match with Sheringham Town but it was also abandoned at half-time after a serious knee injury to Kirkley player Simon Cambridge, which required an ambulance to be called.

If that was not enough bad luck, one of the floodlights at Kirkley's ground caught fire and was put out of action.

Stuart Baker, Kirkley spokesman, said: "I like to think we have used up our share of bad luck already."

He added: "Fortunately the knee injury to Simon Cambridge is not as bad as was first feared and we all wish him a speedy recovery."

Kirkley gained promotion from Division One of the Ridgeons League on the back of an 18-match unbeaten run.

Club officials have managed to keep the same squad of players together and have also been able to add some exciting new signings, meaning the club had plenty of reason to look to the new season with optimism.

Meanwhile, things are looking up off the pitch for the club, and extensive improvements to the Kirkley and Pakefield Community Sports and Social Club should be completed by next month.

The complex at the club's Walmer Road home, is also extensively used by Pakefield FC, darts clubs, indoor bowls matches, a pigeon club, Girl Guides and a playgroup.

Centre managers Craig Harrison and Debbie Piper are overseeing the work that will upgrade and extend the bar area, the kitchen complex and provide further office and meeting room facilities.

"The upgrade will benefit all our clients. We are aiming for a completion date of September 5 for the entire refit but areas such as the bar will be in operation for the start of the Kirkley football season on Saturday," said Ms Piper.

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