Suffolk County Schools’ FA is saved

TALENTED teenager footballers in Suffolk will continue to represent their county at schools’ level next season.

Suffolk County Schools’ Football Association, former 55 years ago, faced folding unless fresh faces came forward to take over its administration.

Volunteers have offer their services after the East Anglian Daily Times and Evening Star highlighted the very realistic prospect that the association would cease to exist.

Chairman Neil Thatcher, who was also acting secretary, vice-chairman Adam Molloson, who has moved away to Sussex, and treasurer Steve Dunnett had declared their intentions to retire after many years’ service ahead of the association’s annual meeting.

That left just county schools’ stalwart, 93-year-old Norman Smith, the acting match and fixture secretary, willing to continue in office.

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Following last Thursday’s AGM, held at Woodbridge Town FC, Thatcher said: “The good news is that the association will continue to run next season after managing to get enough volunteers to come forward.

“A new chairman has not been elected, but three people are willing to split the duties of chairman.

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“The role of secretary will remain under my name, although I will be receiving help, Norman Smith is going to continue in his role as match secretary and Richard Lawson (Claydon High school) has agreed to be the new treasurer.

“Because of the situation we found ourselves in we have decided to look further ahead in the future in order to get things in place earlier in future.

“We were grateful for the article which appeared in the paper highlighting the situation. We had several phone calls and offers of help as a result of that.”

Suffolk County Schools’ FA showcased the talents of future England international Richard Wright and Kieron Dyer in their schooldays as well as several players who went on to appear in the Premier League.

The county has regularly punched above its weight, winning the national under-19 competition in both 2000 and 2003, and last season’s under-16 side reached the final before losing 5-1 to Greater Manchester at Hillsborough.

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