Chairman Jeffrey Airey admits writing was on the wall for Suffolk & Ipswich side Melton St Audrys

Former Melton St Audry's manager Simon Fryatt

Former Melton St Audry's manager Simon Fryatt

Following on from Aldeburgh Town’s demise last week, Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior side Melton St Audry’s have become the latest casualty.

Melton St Audrys (red) in action in 2008

Melton St Audrys (red) in action in 2008

The highly-respected club, whose crowning moment in the SIL was winning the 2007 Omnico Cup, withdrew from the league with immediate effect on Monday, again mainly due to a lack of player commitment as chairman Jeffrey Airey explained.

“We just didn’t have enough players,” admitted Airey.

“It’s a very sad occasion for everyone involved with the club.”

After pulling the reserve side out of the SIL earlier this season, the signs looked ominous for Melton.

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Airey continued: “To be honest, the writing has been on the wall for about the last five years.

“Our biggest mistake was letting Simon Fryatt go (the manager who led Melton to that Omnico Cup success), others have done a good job since, but we were always just up against several little battles.”

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Melton stayed up by the skin of their teeth last campaign but, after a summer of upheaval and departures, things only got worse throughout the season with Airey putting most of the blame down to player commitment.

“Commitment has changed in football,” he continued.

“Years ago, players would always put football first, but the whole mentality has changed these days.

“Twenty or 30 years ago, players used to live for football on a Saturday afternoon, but they would rather go shopping or go on holiday now.”

After re-forming in 1981 through David Spink, Andy Scott, and Mark Rattle, Melton entered the SIL in 1982.

After starting off in Division Eight, they won promotion after promotion to reach the Senior Division just nine years later.

The club then went on to establish themselves in the top division, with 2007 proving to be their crowning moment as they beat Crane Sports on penalties in the Omnico Cup final.

“We’ve had 32 years in the SIL and I’d just like to thank all the managers, committee, players, presidents, sponsors and anyone who has been associated with the club for making it so successful over the years,” continued Airey.

“Special credit and thanks must go to the four managers who have helped us win things – David Spink, Peter Brightey, Simon Fryatt, and Phil Fairbrother.”

The SIL Senior League table has been updated accordingly, with only one team now set to be relegated at the end of the season.

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