Neutral venues planned for county cups

SUFFOLK FA has confirmed that it is planned this season’s county cup semi-finals will take place at neutral venues.

In recent years semi-final ties have been drawn with one side having home advantage, but the shift in policy is as a result of the county taking on board the clubs’ requests, with neutral venues for all open-aged semi-final ties.

Jairo Marin, football services manager at Suffolk FA, confirmed: “The semi-finals will take place at neutral venues, subject to ground availability, at the request of the clubs. We asked the clubs what they wanted and have listened to what they had to say about playing at neutral venues.”

Suffolk FA is currently in the process of establishing which clubs are willing and able to host semi-final ties in advance of the draws taking place and dates being finalised.

Draws for the semi-finals of all the major county competitions - the Premier, Senior, Reserve, Junior, Primary, Trophy, Vets and Women’s cups - will take place next month at Suffolk FA headquarters at Stowmarket.

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The draw for the next round of the Suffolk Senior Cup traditionally used to be held at tea-time on a Saturday after ties that afternoon, but anyone tuning into Radio Suffolk expecting to hear the semi-final draws last Saturday was left disappointed.

The county changed the timing of the draws last season and is repeating the move this season.

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Marin said: “There is nothing sinister behind it. It worked really well doing the draws all on the same day last year. Obviously some of the semi-finals teams are different this year, so perhaps they were unaware of the change.

“We will be hosting the draws here at Suffolk FA headquarters in conjunction with Radio Suffolk live on the radio on Friday, February 3rd, and we are in the process of inviting two representatives from each club to attend the draw.”

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