Quite a year for Suffolk FA, with plenty of footballing highlights
PUBLISHED: 11:12 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:17 03 January 2018
It’s been another busy year for Suffolk FA. In the first of a two-part feature we look back on the highlights of the last 12 months – from January to June
It is announced that Suffolk FA will break new ground by staging 18 Youth Cup semi-finals on the same day. The ‘Festival of Football’ is to take place at the New Croft facility in Haverhill.
John Campany, who has enjoyed a varied career in football as a player, secretary, manager and match reporter, is presented with an FA 50-Year service award.
It is announced that AFC Sudbury will stage ‘Super Sunday’ in April. The club agrees to host the Sunday Shield, Sunday Trophy & Veterans’ Cup Finals on the same day.
Football Development Manager Nathan French, who has been with Suffolk FA for five years, leaves to become National Respect Project Officer for The FA.
Grants totalling £4,000 are handed out to eight clubs via the county’s Small Grants Scheme. The clubs to benefit are: Achilles, Bacton United 89, Bungay Town, Kirkley & Pakefield, Newmarket Town, Sutton Heath, Walsham-le-Willows and Wickham Market.
Tony Adams of Claydon FA is shocked to learn he has won the Groundsman of the Year competition, sponsored by Ransomes Jacobsen, for clubs at Step 7 and below.
Ipswich Town and Lowestoft Town win their respective semi-finals to set up a repeat of the 2013 final in the Women’s Cup, sponsored by HomeStore Self Storage.
The third Silent Weekend sponsored by Total Football is held. Close to 550 teams across the county take part in the weekend which is aimed at creating positive match-day environments.
The ground-breaking move to stage seven county cup finals at Colchester United’s Weston Homes Community Stadium is announced.
Lowestoft Town remain on course to make it a hat-trick of wins in the Premier Cup, sponsored by Omni Freight Services, after a 2-1 victory over Newmarket Town in their semi-final.
Needham Market Manager Mark Morsley declares non-league football is the winner after his side defeat Leiston 4-2 on penalties following a 4-4 draw after extra-time in the other semi-final.
Suffolk FA Under-18s produce a stirring display to defeat champions-elect Norfolk FA 3-1 in the East Anglian Counties Championship.
The County Sport Conference, organised by Suffolk FA in partnership with Suffolk Sport, sees more than 50 delegates gather to hear The FA and Sport England’s new plans to inspire females into sports participation.
Laura Smith, who has been Chief Executive of Suffolk FA since December 2012, announces her resignation.
Achilles book their place in the final of the Senior Cup, sponsored by CNet Training, thanks to a 2-0 win against Capel Plough.
Crane Sports beat Haverhill Borough 4-1 in a delayed semi-final – the first match was abandoned a week earlier due to player injury – to set up an all-SIL final.
Suffolk FA Ladies lose 6-2 to a strong Kent FA Ladies’ side.
Haverhill Borough lift the Sunday Trophy in a nine-goal thriller against Lavenham, Leiston Orient defeat Rushmere Lions 3-0 in the Sunday Shield final and a last-gasp goal gives Woodbridge Town a 1-0 win versus Bury Town in the Veterans’ Cup Final to avenge defeats to the same opponents in the previous two finals.
Two goals in six second-half minutes see Achilles lift the Senior Cup courtesy of a 2-1 win against Crane Sports in the final at Portman Road.
AFC Chelmondiston make amends for finishing runners-up 12 months previously thanks to a 7-6 win on penalties versus Mellis in the Sunday Cup Final at Colchester United.
The following evening Needham Market secure a 3-2 victory over Lowestoft Town in the Premier Cup Final, before Bacton United 89 beat Oulton Broad 3-2 after extra time in a thrilling Junior Cup Final.
Bures United, runners-up two years before, finally capture the Primary Cup, winning 2-1 against Ipswich side AFC Yourshirts.
Two goals in as many minutes see Stowmarket Town Reserves defeat Woodbridge Town 2-1 in the final of the Senior Reserve Cup, sponsored by Days Sports, while Ipswich Town ease to a 5-0 victory over Lowestoft Town in the Women’s Cup Final.
A new £1m state-of-the-art pavilion is opened at Ransomes Sports Ground in Ipswich on the same day as Beccles Veterans win the Walking Football Cup, sponsored by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
AFC Sudbury are victorious in two of the nine Youth Cup finals held at Kirkley & Pakefield, and the following day they defeat Walsham-le-Willows 5-2 in the Under-18 Midweek Cup Final.
Suffolk’s Abi Marriott, who runs the line at the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley, and Callum Walchester, an assistant at the National League Play-Off Final, both speak of their ‘unforgettable experience’ of officiating at Wembley.
The KBB Grassroots Festival is hailed a ‘fantastic success’ as more than 4,000 visitors flock to Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich for the two-day event.
Haverhill Rovers win the FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year regional award, presented by McDonald’s, beating off competition from other clubs in the East Midlands and East Region.
Suffolk FA County Support Officer James Morley is named as Vice-Chairman of the South East England Schools’ FA.
Former Suffolk FA Council Member Cyril Garnham, now a senior vice-president of Ipswich side Achilles, has a surprise visitor at his 90th birthday party.
A former player, chairman, president and general secretary of Achilles, he is joined by not only family and friends but the Suffolk Senior Cup that the club won for the first time in April.
The Suffolk FA Awards Night, sponsored by McDonald’s, Ransomes Jacobsen and The KBB Centre, brings the curtain down on the season.
Former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland defender turned BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson is guest speaker at the event at Trinity Park which raises £1,010 for former Newmarket Town players Shaun Whiter and Joey Abbs, who were victims of a hit-and-run car accident in July 2016.