Treble top alerts Premier scouts

A HOST of Premier League and Championship scouts are running the rule over East Bergholt United's Under-14 side after their historic treble winning season.

Stuart Watson

A HOST of Premier League and Championship scouts are running the rule over East Bergholt United's Under-14 side after their historic treble winning season.

Ever since the club was founded in 1895 not one of its senior or junior teams have achieved such a remarkable feat.

The village side's campaign - which ultimately saw them lose just two games on their way to the Felixstowe & District League Division One title, League Cup and Ipswich & Suffolk Open Cup - has not gone unnoticed.


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Scouts from Arsenal, West Ham, Ipswich, Colchester and Norwich are currently taking a look at various members of the talented squad.

So far nine members of the players have enjoyed trials at professional clubs. Five are currently members of Colchester United's Advanced Coaching Programme (ACP), while a further three are on the Ipswich Town equivalent.

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Manager Kevin Jones said: “It is a remarkable and probably a one-off achievement. Very few teams achieve a treble in their careers so it is no surprise that they are being scouted by some big named football clubs.

“It can be a little bit of a problem with the scouts because I've seen a lot of kids go to an academy and literally be thrown out a couple of years later never to play again.

“As far as I'm concerned football is the teacher and the boys have got to be having fun with their football at this age.

“That is why I have always been reluctant to release my players to these academies unless it is with the understanding that they can continue playing for us as well.”

The bulk of the East Bergholt side was formed solely by local boys seven years ago as a junior team and, although some of the original players have moved on, the core remains.

Jones, who is one of the very few junior football managers to play with a holding midfielder, said: “A team spirit has been forged that has often given us the edge over comparable teams. New players have subsequently been welcomed into the team to strengthen the squad, but the original team spirit still remains and the boys play as a tight-knit unit.”

Following on from their success, East Bergholt United will not only continue playing in the Felixstowe & District League on Saturdays next season, but will also test themselves in the more challenging environment of the Eastern Junior Alliance on Sundays.

Jones, who is aided with his coaching by Nick Barwick, said: “It's going to be a big test, but I've already got four new players lined up for next season.

“We beat Woodbridge in the final of one of the cups this year and they finished third in the Alliance so hopefully that is a good marker of how we will do.”

East Bergholt United's junior section currently stands at over 100 players between the ages of eight and 16. The club, which recently received FA Charter status and has the minimum of a Level One coach in every team, will be running 10 sides next season, including two girls' teams.

N Do you know of a team that has excelled or overcome adversity? Telephone The Evening Star sports desk on 01473 324689 or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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