SUFFOLK & IPSWICH LEAGUE: AFC Kesgrave team up with Willis in move that suits both parties

AFC Kesgrave & Willis

AFC Kesgrave & Willis - Credit: Su Anderson

There’s a new addition to Division Three of the Suffolk & Ipswich League.

AFC Kesgrave & Willis was formed this summer in a move that suited both parties.

AFC Kesgrave youth section was set-up seven years ago, for boys and girls aged between four and 16, while Willis most recently finished second-bottom of the fourth tier (Division Three) in the SIL.

With AFC having aspirations to start up a senior team and the Willis set-up seeking some new blood going forward, a merger made sense.

The club will play their games at Ipswich Wanderers’ Humber Doucy Lane ground and will be managed by Rob Juby, who was recruited by chairman Brendan Tuck.

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Juby, who previously worked in the management set-up at Grundisburgh has enlisted the services of Carl Shemmings, who recently revitalised Ufford Sports, as his assistant manager.

The reserve team will be run by Tuck, in Division Six, and will be predominantly an under-21 team, bringing through the under-16s from the club as well as players who will be coming out of youth football from other clubs.

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In addition, another experienced coach, Duncan Coldwell, will also bring experience and knowledge to the set-up and a host of top players have signed from various clubs, giving the first-team squad an exciting and ambitious feel.

Tuck, who said the club was keen on having its own headquarters eventually, explained: “We set up AFC Kesgrave in 2007, having been associated with another club, and the main focus was to develop the players and coaches more than anything.

“We wanted to try and build from the bottom upwards and we set ourselves a number of aims to achieve.

“We wanted to achieve Charter Standard status, which we did, we wanted to girls’ football on the itinery, which we have with a number of teams, and we wanted to get involved with adult football, which we have done.

“This season we want to try and get promotion out of both leagues and we want the first team to be in the Senior Division in the next three or four seasons.

“It’s a big ask and we need to do it the right way and in the right manner.”

The first team will be starting their campaign at home to Cockfield United on September 6, while the reserve team will kick-off their season in Division Six at home to Sporting 87 A.

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