Familiarity is breeding early success for Felixstowe & Harpers in SIL Senior Division

Ian Watson

Ian Watson

The ‘Love Boat’ has set sail in the Sil Senior Division and it doesn’t look like capsizing anytime soon.

Plotting the route to success is Felixstowe & Harpers’ manager Ian Watson, whose side have got off to a flying start with wins against Claydon (8-0) and Westerfield United (4-2).

Next to try and steer Watson’s side off course, tomorrow, are hosts, Bramford United, who have taken three points from two games.

Joint-top Harpers will make the trip full of confidence though, having assembled a new-look squad that didn’t take much time to gel, according to Watson.

“I brought in Andy Crump as a player-coach, from Felixstowe & Walton, once I knew he was available, knowing full well that he would attract players,” said Watson.


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“Myself and my assistant manager Toby Green worked with Andy on a list of targets over the summer and we have worked hard on recruitment.

“We have brought in Andy’s brother Danny, the goalkeeper, as well as four lads from Brantham, Lee and David Grimwood, Matt Ryland and Dan Pryke.

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“They have dropped down into the SIL for various reasons, knowing they could probably not commit to Thurlow Nunn football, and more importantly, they wanted to stick together.

“We have also brought in three lads from Grundisburgh (Mical Moore, Lyndon Alexander and James Carr) and I have also brought in Mark Van Oene.

“It’s like friends reunited here, we have an excellent team spirit and we call it the Love Boat at the moment as a bit of a joke.

“I have played with most of them at Grundisburgh and all the players know each other very well, have won things elsewhere, and want to win here too.

“I had to trim down my squad in the summer and the lads that have stayed, the likes of David Gibson, Louis Elliston, Ricardo Phillips, Ciaran O’Farrell and Ali Brett, have been brilliant.”

Meanwhile, Watson has laughed off some comments of social networking sites which have suggested that Harpars are spending big money to entice players to the club and believes they won’t have it all their own way this season.

“Things like that have been said in the SIL for a long time and I find some of the comments quite humorous,” he added.

“The players that play here pay their £15 subs a month and could be on decent money at a higher level.

“But they wanted to come and play for me and try and win things with me.”

He added: “Looking at the league, Achilles have managed to put together a strong squad, while the game between Cranes and Ipswich Valley Rangers in midweek was a fantastic advert for Senior football.

“Cranes and IVR will be up there, as I think Haughley will.”

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