History has been made by Suffolk Football Association (FA) after the launch of the county FA’s first-ever league in Bury St Edmunds.
Suffolk WAYS was launched at a festival featuring 11 under-10s teams playing in 7v7 fixtures on Saturday.
King Edward VI School hosted the event and provided six young leaders who had been on a mini soccer referees’ course to referee at the WAYS festival.
There were four teams taking part from Sporting Youth and Elmswell Youth, plus one each from Risby Green Youth, Moreton Hall Youth and Walsham Youth.
The philosophy of WAYS, which stands for Western Area Youth Soccer and a different ‘WAYS’ to play the game, is all about creating an environment for players to have fun, learn and develop.
Suffolk FA’s football development officer Nathan French, who has played a key role along with the WAYS committee in getting everything up and running, said: “A lot of time and hard work has gone into WAYS over the last few months so it’s great to finally kick off the season with the launch festival.”
If teams are interested in joining WAYS or would like to play in any of the other festivals, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
n A thrilling encounter saw Thurston Under-11s beat Elmswell 7-3 in our match of the week.
Elmswell scored the first three goals, but two were in their own net, and Fraser Sadler put Thurston 3-1 ahead by half-time.
James West, Sadler and Tommy Flack stretched the advantage to 6-1 before Elmswell got two back, but Ryan Stevenson’s first goal for the club completed the scoring.
Red Lodge Under-14s advanced past Chatteris in the Knockout Cup with a 6-1 victory.
Harry Harding, Ryan Collis and Kieran Hayden set Red Lodge on their way, while Curtis Grinling, Jessica Linger and man-of-the-match Kieran Clements remained solid at the back.
Ethan Heap, Collis and Grinling made it 6-0, but Chatteris finally beat goalkeeper Jack Harding, who had made some good saves, for a consolation.
Walsham-le-Willows Under-12s kept up their winning ways as Will Egglestone’s brace and a single strike from George Clayton-Leek fired them to a 3-1 success over double league champions Brandon Town.
Jess Daniel’s hat-trick and goals from debutant Chelsea Page, Grace Kelly and Ellie Costin helped Bury Town Girls Under-12s win 6-0 at Stow Falcons.
Clementine Key was superb throughout with some creative passes causing Stow numerous problems.
Bury Town Bulldogs Under-11s recorded their first win of the season thanks to a solitary strike from Dominic Curry in their local derby against Moreton Hall Gunners.
The Bulldogs dedicated their win to goalkeeper Charlie Webber, who suffered a fracture to his left arm the night before the game.
n Needham Market’s Ben Hope could make his debut for Suffolk Under-18s when they host Berts and Bucks in the second round of the FA County Youth Cup at Ram Meadow tomorrow (2pm).
Hope will be joined in the squad by Needham Market teammates John Carver, Brendon Heath, Harrison Ford, Ace Howell and Sam Thrower.
n Norfolk club Thetford Bulldogs have achieved their FA Development Charter Standard award.
n Tollgate Under-11s were the grateful recipients of a pop-up gazebo donated by Tesco under their Community Project scheme.
n Bury Town are looking for a manager for their under-17 team.
FA level two or FA youth modules are desirable, but FA level one and experience is essential. Contact Tom Parkington on tom.gfisoccer@ hotmail.co.uk