Hadleigh face Town

Ambitious Hadleigh United take on a youthful Ipswich Town reserve side in a pre-season friendly at Millfield tonight (kick-off 7.30 pm), writes David Vincent.

Ambitious Hadleigh United take on a youthful Ipswich Town reserve side in a pre-season friendly at Millfield tonight (kick-off 7.30 pm), writes David Vincent.

Manager Louis Newman, now one of the longest serving in the Ridgeons (formerly Jewson) League will not be able to field his strongest XI because of players' prior commitments.

“It was the only date Ipswich could do and it coincides with two honeymoons and five holidays,” he said. “But we were working with a large squad last year and we have re-signed most of them so it shouldn't be a problem.

“It won't be our strongest side but we will have a good mixture of use and experience.”


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It will be a great night for the Donovan family, from Tattingstone, with three players involved - goalkeeper Wayne Donovan and younger brothers Miles and Kieron.

Newman rates the keeper very highly. “He had a terrific season last year, I think he is the best in our league. He has done very well and is still improving.”

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The manager is among the longest serving in the league and was disappointed to miss out on promotion last time.

“We are going for the top spot again next season. Top three is needed for promotion but we will begin by aiming to win the league,” he added. “Any success in cups will be a bonus.

“We don't have the resources of some clubs but the team spirit is good and we have the facilities being improved here for the higher level.

“We were up at the top for much of last season and I was bitterly disappointed we didn't go up.

“This is my seventh year here, and it is unfinished business to me. We potential has been here and it has grown over the years.”

He is hoping there will be a good turnout for the game after large crowds turned out for friendlies with Town reserves in the past week.

The last time Hadleigh played against league opposition was almost 10 years ago when Norwich City won 2-0.

Ipswich Town reserves manager Steve McCall has seen his youngsters win 4-0 at Framlingham and draw 2-2 at Woodbridge.

He will have a similar squad though Matt Richards and Stuart Boardley, on the way back from injury, may make the bench. Defender Erdem Artun came through the Woodbridge game with no ill effects and will continue and striker Matt Robinson will start after a good second 45 minutes as a substitute.

Town take an U17 side to Southwold on Saturday.

Hadleigh United squad: Wayne Donovan, Miles Donovan, Kieron Donovan, Gaskin, Godbold, Pritchard, Cracknell, Snell, Chinery, Oakes, Welton, Beckett, Curtis, Sheldrake and Whitwell (gk).

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