Suffolk FA Junior Cup final between Claydon and Oulton Broad to be held at Woodbridge Town
Suffolk FA will be happy to continue staging their County Cup finals at Portman Road, but will also encourage suggestions for alternate venues in future.
Four cup finals scheduled to be held at Portman Road will now be staged elsewhere because of Ipswich Town’s potential involvement in the play-offs.
The Suffolk FA Premier Cup final between Bury Town and Felixstowe & Walton will now be held at AFC Sudbury (7.30pm kick-off) on April 29, while the Suffolk Women’s Cup final, which involves AFC Sudbury and Brandon Town, will now be hosted at Bury Town on May 1 (7.30pm kick-off).
The Suffolk Senior Cup final meanwhile, between Whitton United and Ipswich Wanderers, will now be played on May 5 at Hadleigh United (3pm kick-off), with the Junior Cup taking place four hours before, between Claydon and Oulton Broad, at Woodbridge Town’s Notcutts Park ground.
Suffolk FA chief executive Laura Smith, explained at no time had dates been confirmed for the finals at Portman Road: “We run these competitions for the players,” she said.
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“If the players and clubs would prefer to have dates fixed in the calendar at the start of the season then we can organise the finals at the start of the season, at venues other than Portman Road.
“If they would prefer the opportunity to play at Portman Road, given that it isn’t something we can guarantee and is dependent on Ipswich Town’s position in the league table, then we will hold out for that.
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“This is something we would like feedback on, from the clubs and players involved in this year’s finals.”
The Suffolk FA chief executive also revealed that the organisation had no grounds to force the Blues to hold the finals.
She added: “We don’t have the authority to dictate usage of Portman Road.
“We enjoy a good relationship with the club and are grateful to them for their support hosting finals over recent years.
“Last year they hosted an additional final to the ones they had previously – four in total, including the women’s cup for the first time.”
An Ipswich Town spokesman said: “We are disappointed that we are unable to host the County Cup finals this year as we have done for many years in the past.
“Previously the club has accommodated the County Cup finals after the end of the playing season but at the moment, with the football club in with a chance of finishing in the play-offs, we do not know when our season will finish. The Suffolk FA fully understand our decision and we are sure we will be hosting many more County Cup finals for years to come.”
Town will, however, host the FA County Youth Cup Final on April 26, between Suffolk and Lancashire. And Smith explained: “The FA County Youth Cup competition is an FA competition not a County FA competition. The Football Association fixes the ground for the final of that competition and has direct control of the arrangements.”