Hundreds of youth football teams sign up for Suffolk FA’s ‘Silent Weekend’

Ian and Karen Cornforth, owners of Total Football, who are to sponsor the �Silent Weekend� being org

Ian and Karen Cornforth, owners of Total Football, who are to sponsor the �Silent Weekend� being organised by Suffolk FA - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of football teams in Suffolk have signed up to the county’s first ever “Silent Weekend” later this month, when crowds and coaches will be urged to remain quiet and “let the players play” free from distraction.

The event, which is taking place over the weekend of February 21 and 22, has been organised by the Suffolk FA to help mainly young players aid their development without the negativity, which is sometimes said to arise from off-the-pitch comments.

Following its launch last month, 374 teams have signed up and 500 wristbands have been produced to be distributed across the county.

Over the weekend the Suffolk FA is organising two “4v4 Festivals” and other games across the county will be involved with visiting ambassadors to encourage crowds to remain quiet.

It has the backing of the Ipswich & Suffolk Youth League, South Suffolk Youth League, Suffolk FA WAYS, Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League, Suffolk Girls’ & Women’s League and Suffolk FA Monday Night Football league.

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Total Football, an independent shop in Key Street, Ipswich, has also stepped in to sponsor the event.

Ian Cornworth, who owns the business with his wife Karen and is a Level 1 coach, said: “The reason we are sponsoring the weekend is because it is a fantastic opportunity for children to play in an environment where they will not be criticised.

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“Players are faced with making 1,000 decisions in a game and this will make it clearer for them to go out and concentrate on playing football.

“I play a lot of ‘silent football’ in training which encourages players to look up and pass the ball as they can’t hear anyone.

“It raises the standard of football because the players become calmer as individuals when in possession.”

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