Injuries hit Ridgeons League clubs hard

BAD preparation, bad pitches, bad planning or bad luck?

Whatever the reason there seems to have been an unprecedented number of injuries this season.

Hadleigh United have probably been the worst hit, but fellow Ridgeons League Premier Division side Felixstowe & Walton United and Woodbridge Town have also suffered more than most.

The Brettsiders’ woes began even before a ball was kicked in earnest with new signing Alan Ross from Walsham-le-Willows suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury which ruled him out for the season – the same injury as Matt Buckle, who signed for Hadleigh towards the end of last season.

Simon Head, who joined the club in pre-season, has not played due to an Achilles heel injury and Hadleigh captain Paul Donnelly only recently returned to action from a broken metatarsal suffered just four games into the campaign and at one stage the club had 13 players injured!


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Manager Stuart Crawford said: “We didn’t have these problem last year, so I think it is just bad luck. Even Sam Banya, who signed for us, was injured after just one game!”

Woodbridge Town’s Mark Roper missed several matches at the start of the season and fellow centre back Ben Miller has since been ruled out for the season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury. Striker James Hubbard has been laid low by an injury picked up while playing for the Army and has missed more than half their matches and several minor injuries have also combined to leave the Notcutts Park club short of numbers.

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Woodpeckers manager Mark Scopes said: “I don’t think players get enough time to recover. We have had two midweeks off and have trained just once since the start of the season because I have tried to rest players and give their injuries time to heal.”

Felixstowe & Walton United had an horrendous injury list in the first half of last season, and while this term it has not been as bad they have still lost several key players at various times.

Indeed, three times in four matches players carrying what they thought were minor knocks had to pull out of a game after warming up.

One of those was skipper Matt Ryland, who was ruled out of four games by tendonitis, whiles knee injuries caused goalkeeper Guy Clubb and defender Arran Sheppard to miss several matches and Ben Garnham is out for up to two months with a knee ligament injury.

The Seasiders manager Kevin Witchalls said: “Our first team, reserves and under-18 sides played 21 games between them in October, but whether it is a case of too many games and the hard grounds at the start of the season that have caused the injuries is hard to say.

“I understand why the league schedule so many games at the start of the season, with the better weather and good pitches, but some of it is probably brought on ourselves by playing in all the different cup competitions.”

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