Most successful period in Suffolk’s history, says chairman Mick Pearce

SUFFOLK has never had it so good, according to county FA chairman Mick Pearce.

Bury Town’s success in lifting the Ryman League Cup last week is further proof of the strength of football in the county at the present time – both on and off the pitch.

Pearce’s belief is based not only on Bury but also Lowestoft Town bidding for promotion to Blue Square Bet South this season, and also Leiston, Needham Market and AFC Sudbury all vying for promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division.

“This is the most successful period in Suffolk’s history,” said Pearce, who was at Staines Town to see Bury beat East Thurrock United 1-0 to become the first Suffolk side to lift the cup.

“It was not just the victory, it was the manner in which Bury Town won.

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“I was speaking to two Ryman League officials – chairman Alan Turvey and vice-chairman Nick Robinson – at the League Cup final and they were very positive about what Suffolk clubs have brought to the Ryman League, in terms of the quality of football, the standard of grounds, the welcome that teams receive and the way the clubs go about their business.”

Pearce, who last Saturday went to watch AFC Sudbury’s home match against Grays, said: “Speaking to players and officials of clubs involved they are all feeling very positive about football in Suffolk.

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“The next two weeks will be crucial with important games coming up over the Easter period.

“Lowestoft have been going through a sticky patch, but hopefully they and Bury will qualify for the play-offs and one of them will be promoted.

“They still have to play each other in the league on Easter Monday, in the final of the Suffolk Premier Cup and also possibly in the play-offs at some stage!”

Leaders Leiston stand on the verge of winning Division One North at the first attempt following promotion from the Ridgeons League last season – and either Needham Market or AFC Sudbury could also go up via the play-offs.

“My dream would be that we have a Suffolk winner, and the other two teams in the play-offs, so we have two teams promoted out of Division One North,” said Pearce.

“Brantham, Haverhill and Woodbridge have all done very well in the Ridgeons League this season. Five Suffolk teams have moved up out of that league in recent seasons, and although we won’t have a winner this season they could have a say in the outcome.”

Pearce watches on average three matches a week – not just taking in Ryman League and Ridgeons League fixtures but also junior football and Sunday morning matches.

He admits he is “very fortunate” to have a wife who is a big football fan and is usually accompanied by Delia, who supports Ipswich Town, to matches.

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