Gallery: Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival celebrates youth football in county

Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich.
Cornard Dynamos v Beccles.

Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich. Cornard Dynamos v Beccles. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Football fanatics from across Suffolk kitted-up for one of the biggest youth sporting events in the county, as they took part in the Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival.

The two-day event, held on Saturday and Sunday at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich, featured 130 teams from across Suffolk taking part in games from a series of different age categories, all celebrating the beautiful game.

More than 4,000 spectators from proud parents to inspired children watched the event, which this year adopted a ‘Premier League’ theme to tie in with the conclusion of the football season.

The event also had a dedicated Fan Zone where youngsters not part of established teams could turn up and have a go, with a series of skills-based challenges also on offer for players to test their nimble footwork.

Nathan French, county development manager at Suffolk FA, said: “It’s been brilliant, we have had a really good weekend.

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“All the pitches are named after different stadiums, and lots of different challenges like ‘Can you beat a defender like Diego Costa?’ all focused on the Premier League theme.”

The fifth annual event was this year sponsored by KBB, which director Roger Peck says prides itself on supporting youth football.

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He added: “It’s been a great success, with a full house of people all enjoying themselves and playing very respectfully.”

Mr French concluded: “It’s about creating a positive environment where parents and managers can watch, and people watching can get involved, and hopefully encourage them to take up the sport.”

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