Felixstowe expect big turnaround in players

NEW Felixstowe and Walton United joint manager Kevin Witchalls said today that he would be surprised if there was not a big turn around in players this summer.

Witchalls and Andy Clarke have taken over from Glen Driver at the Dellwood Avenue-based Ridgeons League Premier Division club.

The former has been with the club for a number of years and started with the Under-9’s working his way through the junior system to be in charge of the successful reserve team last season.

“I don’t know what my budget will be, but I’d be surprised if all the players from the current season were still with us next season,” said Witchalls, who played his football in Essex before moving to Suffolk and he works at BT at Martlesham.

“The plan is to progress young players through from the youth system, and there won’t be room for everybody.

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“In my view the lads we have will hold us in good stead, and it’s an interesting and exciting prospect.

“The aim is to finish as high as possible in the table and youth will get its chance.”

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Felixstowe enjoyed their best finish in 2009/10 (seventh) since they merged with Walton United with Driver and his assistant Tony Kinsella making the most of the budget provided by chairman Tony Barnes.

Their resignation is believed to have come about over problems with next year’s player budget.

Barnes said: “I’m delighted with the appointments.

“We have great aspirations for the future with long term plans for further development including a new ground.

“We now have a management team in place that shares those aspirations, which can only be good for all concerned and for the community as a whole.

“In recent seasons we have made great strides forward and began to see the benefit of our massive junior and youth set up.

“Kevin and Andy bring an abundance of footballing knowledge and coaching skills to the table.

“There’s a great sense of optimism around the club and already an air of excitement for the season ahead.

“We’re as ambitious as always and the committee will be working hard during the close season to rally support from the local business community and the local population to strengthen finances and increase match-day atten-dances and income”

Former Felixstowe United player manager Clarke made his Ridgeons League debut for Felixstowe Town (now Felixstowe and Walton United) as a 16 year old and was this season manager of the Under- 18’s.

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