December 18

Felixstowe & Walton United Football Club 

Felixstowe & Walton United Football Club

In earlier editions of this column, mention was made of the annual Fireworks Spectacular hosted by Felixstowe & Walton United. 2017 saw 4,600 come to the event. This year saw some 5,000 people come along to enjoy not only the fireworks display itself but also a number of other attractions including fair rides, an aerial drone display and numerous food stalls. This alcohol-free event  attracts a number of families with young children in tow. Thanks go to the many volunteers who make the event so successful every year.

 

Following the home fixture against Grays Athletic, the clubhouse saw the annual Darts Challenge, pitting fans against players.  Players are expected to be competitive on the field of play, but rest assured, they are just as eager to win at darts as they are at football. They didn’t get off to a good start. 5-1 down at one stage, the players did rally to level things at 7-7. The £100 prize money, divided between the two teams, promptly found its way to the charity collection box at the bar.

 

For a club that relies on sponsorship and volunteers, there is always great interest in anything that can raise funds. The Ipswich Star and The East Anglian Daily Times started a campaign a while back called “Club Together’’ which was set up to give Suffolk’s youth football teams the chance to win a share of £10,000 of equipment. We, as a club, registered with the campaign, knowing that the collection of 1,000 tokens would qualify for £100 worth of football equipment. There was also the possibility of winning £1,500, £1,000 and £500 for the clubs with the most tokens.

 

Step in Archie Dunne! Now, “Who is Archie Dunne?” you may ask. Well, he’s one of our very own juniors here at Felixstowe. Archie, and his Grandad, Jimmy Crumlish, helped collect 3,175 tokens working together with Jimmy’s paper round customers.  That is real initiative and everyone at the club would like to say a big thank you to Archie and Jimmy for their hard work and desire to help the club. Now it’s just a question of waiting to see if we have won any of the big prizes too!

 

As well as the senior teams, Felixstowe & Walton United run 22 junior sides of boys and girls from under 6s to under 16s. This is something everyone is very proud of. In case you’re not sure that the young stars at the club are newsworthy, think again. Here is just some of the news coming from the junior ranks in recent weeks.

 

Under 13s player Erika Lempek played for The Suffolk Girls Development squad under 14s away against North Suffolk Academy, coming home with a 6-2 victory in which she scored 4 goals herself and was player of the match. Well done Erika!

 

Three of our under 14s – Nartey Tey-Botchway, Sebastian Goodhand and Jacob O’Callaghan – represented Suffolk FA schools for their first ever game away against Norfolk. Unfortunately, they lost but did the club proud with both their performance and the character they showed. It’s worth remembering that it really isn’t simply about winning. Teamwork helps build skills such as character and resilience. Well done Nartey, Sebastian and Jacob.

 

Eloise Ward, who is at Suffolk Advanced Coaching Centre (part of the FA Pathway) also plays for our U15 Saturday SYL team and has been selected again this year for Suffolk Schools under 16s and the ISFA (Independent Schools Football Association) National squad for the 18/19 season.

Eloise, a St.Joseph’s College Sports Scholar, has completed the first two-day training camp in Cambridge which included her debut against Cambridge City U16s, which they won 6-0. She played the full 80 minutes, starting at centre back and finishing as the central defensive midfielder. Next stop for Eloise is St Georges Park in December, where she will be available for international games against Scotland and Wales.

 

Finally, Rose Wright, Evie Lake and Tildy Bennett all played their first game of the season for Suffolk Girls Development Centre Under 12s away to Copplestonians mixed boys and girls, with all 3 doing the club proud again with good performances and great character. Well done girls!

 

Maintaining its commitment to the local community, the club invited a team of mascots from Copplestonians Under 9s to come out with the first team against Grays Athletic. The day included training with first team players before the game, a penalty shoot out with goalkeeping coach Gary Hammond at half time and, last but not least, some sausage and chips that was very much appreciated.

 

It’s not only on the field of play with the first team that so much happens at Felixstowe & Walton.