Duo walking on Waterside

DANNY Banthorpe and Leon Phillips are creating a name for themselves as managers – and simultaneously breathing new life back into one of Ipswich’s oldest clubs.

Banthorpe and Phillips have overseen a 30-match unbeaten league run as a managerial partnership, stretching back to the opening day of last season!

The pair were in charge of Westerfield United ‘A’ team, winning back-to-back promotions from Division Six and then Division Five of the Kingsley Healthcare SIL.

Branthorpe explained: “As an ‘A’ team we could only go up as far as Division Three, and we had both aspirations to go higher. We wanted to run a first team, and Waterside were struggling and thinking of folding after 114 years.”

Waterside were formed in 1897 and entered the league the following year under the name of Waterside Works, a factory unit owned by Ransomes and Rapier.

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Banthorpe continued: “The club had played at Pauls Sports Club for 35 years and had to leave because Achilles wanted their reserves to play there as well as their first team.

“We wanted to run a first team and so welcomed the opportunity to take over at Waterside and bring a few of the boys from Westerfield with us.

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“We have formed a reserve side as well this season and are now playing our home games on the old Crane’s pitch at King George V Playing Fields.”

Westerfield United ‘A’ were champions of Division Five last season, winning 18 of their 22 games, drawing three and losing just once – 4-2 away to Cedars Park on the opening day of the campaign.

This season Waterside have so far won eight and drawn one of their nine fixtures and sit second, five points behind leaders Bacton United 89 Reserves but with two games in hand.

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