Triple joy for Leiston at awards night

THERE was triple joy for Leiston at the Ryman League’s end-of-season Banquet and Ball.

Chairman Andy Crisp collected the Ryman League Division One North trophy, while manager Mark Morsley won the divisional manager of the year award and vice-chairman Peter Mayhew picked up the divisional Ryman Respect award.

A delighted Morsley said: “We were the only divisional winners to also win the Respect award, which is nice, on what was a successful night for the club. It proved that a referee-friendly club can still win things.”

The Respect award covers not only bookings and sendings-off, but also marks given by the opposition bench and officials’ marks for each club.

Morsley said: “Dave Hunt, who used to be my goalkeeping coach, was always on at me about my attitude towards referees.

“I was dreadful when I was at AFC Sudbury and I have tried to improve since. I was much more relaxed when I was at Harwich & Parkeston.

“When I took over at Leiston they had a history of disciplinary problems which I have tried to change. Anyone sent off for foul and abusive language or violent conduct is fined two weeks’ wages.

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“It has certainly made a difference and the players have learned their lessons, and the club have also made sure they look after officials on match days.”

Morsley, who said the manager of the year accolade was an award for his team of coaches and backroom staff, added: “I was insistent that Andy and Peter picked up a trophy each. They were really proud to have three trophies sitting on the table.”

The 31st annual banquet and ball, which was held at the Brighton Hilton Metropole, saw Ryman League Teams of the Season, selected by a vote of club managers for each division, awarded for the first time.

Leiston’s Gareth Heath was named in the Ryman North Team of the Year along with AFC Sudbury striker James Baker and Needham Market’s Sam Newson.

Lowestoft Town’s Lubo Guentchev was the only representative from either Lowestoft or Bury Town in the Ryman Premier Team of the Year.

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