Suffolk non-league in great shape - Wilkins

BURY Town boss Richard Wilkins has heaped praise on the state of Suffolk non-league football.

BURY Town boss Richard Wilkins has heaped praise on the state of Suffolk non-league football.

The former Colchester United star has been in charge at Bury for 11 seasons, and speaking ahead of Monday’s massive Ryman League Premier Division clash with Lowestoft Town at Ram Meadow, he feels Suffolk’s non-league game has never been in better shape.

“I think Suffolk non-league football is in super order,” he said.

“I’ve always felt Suffolk has been strong with players, but clubs have never been brave enough to make the move up. AFC Sudbury should have made the move up a year or so before they actually did.

“And now other clubs have followed, the game is benefiting.

“There were always excuses by good local players that they had to travel so far to play higher up the pyramid. But now they don’t have to.”

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Bury and Lowestoft have led the Suffolk charge in recent seasons, both sitting in Step 3 of the Football Pyramid and just two levels away from Blue Square Premier football.

That’s still a long way off, but Wilkins says just being at Step 3 has its advantages.

“When you see your club’s name come along the bottom of the ticker on Sky Sports on a Saturday afternoon, you know you have arrived,” he laughed.

“But seriously, it’s great what the team have achieved and with little change from the side which won the Southern Midlands title last year.

“We’ve brought Scowie (James Scowcroft) in and Mark Coulson, but lost Ben Coker to Colchester United and Lee Underwood is still in America.

“Our first six or seven games we did well, but I thought we got more out of them than we deserved. But now we have settled down, we are playing some good stuff.”

The Ram Meadow side currently sit in second place in the table, while Lowestoft are in sixth, but with games in hand on all the sides above.

Both sides are heading in the right direction and although it would be fair to say Lowestoft have spent more money in their pursuit of success, neither club can be criticised for the way they are attempting to progress.

The game kicks off at 3pm on Monday and a big crowd is anticipated, but if the pitch isn’t fit, both clubs have agreed to play on Tuesday, again at 3pm, again weather permitting.


Top six

P W D L F A Pts.

Sutton 18 11 5 2 31 14 38

Bury Town 18 10 5 3 30 22 35

Kingstonian 17 10 2 5 29 19 32

Cray 19 9 4 6 38 22 31

AFC Hornchurch 18 8 6 4 26 22 30

Lowestoft 15 8 5 2 21 8 29

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