Champions Ipswich Valley Rangers targeting a hat-trick of league titles

Ipswich Valley Rangers chairman Bob Pipe, right, and David Cattermole, left, receive the Club Colour

Ipswich Valley Rangers chairman Bob Pipe, right, and David Cattermole, left, receive the Club Colours Team of the Season award from sponsor Alan Middle - Credit: Archant

THE belief is that it is harder to retain a title than it is to win it in the first place.

It is with this in mind that Ipswich Valley Rangers have been crowned my Club Colours Team of the Season.

As Woodbridge Athletic the club won the Senior Division of the Touchline SIL for the first time last season, and, following their merger with Ipswich Valley Rangers last summer, have won it again this season.

On hearing the news Paul Hadlee, who is joint manager with Paul Tietjen, said: “That is absolutely fantastic for everyone concerned at the club, especially for all those who work so hard behind the scenes and don’t get the recognition they deserve.”

Tietjen said: “Winning the title second time round is a big achievement. Most of the SIL sides on their day have the ability to beat anyone else, so if you under-perform and play at 80-90 per cent you can come unstuck.

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“We were 10 or 11 points behind Felixstowe United around Christmas and hit the top of the table around mid-February, so I don’t think anyone thought we would win it with two games to spare.

“To do so we won 11 games on the bounce, but we had to do that because Achilles had a great run and if the season had lasted a few weeks longer Capel Plough could have been serious challengers.”

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The task facing Ipswich Valley Rangers now will be to see if they can make it a hat-trick next season.

Tietjen said: “It would be an incredible achievement if we could do it, but as we found this year everyone wants to beat you when you are the champions.

“We will also look to have a good cup run next season – we have let ourselves down in the cups in the last three or four years, particularly in the Suffolk Senior Cup.

“This season we lost to Whitton United, who made it all the way to the final after we matched them in all areas and were disappointed to go out.”

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