Framlingham set for FA Vase experience

FRAMLINGHAM Town take the Kingsley Healthcare SIL into a new era on Saturday when they travel to Stowmarket Town in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase.

The time when the SIL was represented in this glamorous national competition that has its final at Wembley Stadium looked to have passed when Crane Sports and Ransomes Sports dropped out in the eighties.

“We were advised to apply, and this proved successful,” said Framlingham secretary Fiona Whatling.

“There were those – not within our club – who I’m sure did not want it to happen.

“But we look upon it as a competition that is worthy of what we have achieved at Badingham Road over the years.”

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Back in 1992, Framlingham were denied a Ridgeons League place after winning the SIL total because their facilities were not deemed up to scratch.

“We were told to get the work down and then apply again,” added Mrs Whatling, who has been secretary for an incredible 38 years.

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“Other clubs have since moved up and then completed the work afterwards!

“The Ridgeons League is still our aim although we have to finish in the top three first. We meet all the requirements of the FA Vase and unlike some of the powers that be the FA were happy to accept our application.”

Mrs Whatling’s husband Keith played professional football for Ipswich Town, Exeter City and Chelmsford City. But he didn’t play at Wembley.

“But our son Neil, who will be playing on Saturday, has played at Wembley in the Carlsberg Pub Cup for Earl Soham Victoria to show the stature of these non league competitions.”

Any replay will be at Framlingham next Wednesday with the winners away to Godmanchester or Eynesbury Rovers in the next round.

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