Local football folk divided as Suffolk County cup finals head to Essex

Claydon boss Kenny Kennedy was part of the AFC Hoxne staff when Jamie Scales' men won the Junior Cup

Claydon boss Kenny Kennedy was part of the AFC Hoxne staff when Jamie Scales' men won the Junior Cup at Portman Road last season. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Suffolk FA’s decision to play seven of their prestigious cup finals this season, including the Suffolk Premier Cup, out of the county, to Colchester United, has received mixed views among non-league folk.

It was announced on Tuesday that all Suffolk county football finals, apart from the Suffolk Senior Cup final, will be staged at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, subject to the U’s not being in the play-offs.

The Senior Cup will be staged at Portman Road on Sunday, April 30. The rest at Colchester in May.

Due to Ipswich Town staging the Sir Elton John concert and end-of-season pitch renovations, the Blues have only been able to offer one date to Suffolk FA.

“I don’t think much of it to be honest,” said Grundisburgh boss Micky Squirrell. “These are Suffolk County cup finals, they shouldn’t be played in Essex.

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“I don’t blame Suffolk FA for trying to get Colchester United, as it appears Ipswich Town were not offering many dates. But it’s a big shame and could be a long journey for some clubs in the north of the county.”

Keith Norton, chairman of the Suffolk & Ipswich League agreed with Squirrell.

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“I can understand why Suffolk FA want to offer players the chance to play at a Football League ground but I think at least the top three competitions, the Premier Cup, Senior Cup and Primary Cup should all be in the county.”

Meanwhile Karl Pike, manager of Woodbridge Town reserves is preparing his team for the Senior Reserve Cup final against Stowmarket Town.

“I’m chuffed for the players that they will be able to play at Colchester,” he said.

“For me it’s a shame Ipswich Town couldn’t accommodate the finals though.”

However, Peter Hutchings, chairman of the Thurlow Nunn League was full of praise for the idea.

“The opportunity to play at a stadium of stature outweighs the fact it is not in the county,” he said.

“If Portman Road is not available, then why not at Colchester United? I think it’s a good idea.”

Suffolk FA County Cup competitions manager Adrian Moye said: “Our aim is to give the players of both clubs the best football experience possible. Colchester is only 16 miles from Portman Road, which is not much further to travel for the opportunity to play at a Football League ground.”

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