Team Bury could be no more
The club that gave England goalkeeper Nick Pope his first taste of men’s football, Team Bury, could be set to fold in favour of a new midweek team, writes Russell Claydon.
Bury Town have already had a newly-named side accepted into the Bostik Under-23s League and a proposal to disband Team Bury is currently in the hands of the national FA after it sparked a war of words over rulings.
Two of the three officers of the bottom-placed Thurlow Nunn League First Division club voted at an EGM to fold the club, which was understood to have been inititally accepted before it is claimed Suffolk FA sought clarification from the FA over several issues, including claims a three quarters majority would ordinarily be needed for it to go ahead.
Bury Town chairman Russell Ward said the pre-cursor to Team Bury, West Suffolk College FC, was formed in 2005 as a joint venutre between themselves and the college (reformed and renamed as Team Bury in 2007).
But he said the side that has been seen as Bury Town’s unofficial feeder team, with players registered to both and who also play at Ram Meadow, was no longer working.
“For the last few years Team Bury have struggled, mainly due to a lack of experienced playing personel. You only have to look at their performance in the Thurlow Nunn League to see that.
“It was felt, with the players we had, we would be better off playing in a Bostik U23s midweek league, which would also ease the pressure on the club on weekend matchdays at Ram Meadow.”
Danny Laws, AFC Sudbury’s director of football and youth development, was a founding figure and chairman of West Suffolk College FC and believes it would be a travesty to lose the club’s history, including links to alumni such as Nick Pope.
It has led to him forming a committee to take over the club, along with the club’s Suffolk Senior Cup-winning manager, Neil Reader, which is another of the reasons why the Suffolk FA is thought to have sought clarification from the FA.
AFC Sudbury Reserves, run by Laws, also play in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division and have been allocated into the new North Division as part of the summer’s national non-league revamp.
But should the FA, who have been vocal in trying to maintain the levels of Saturday adult teams, refuse permission to fold Team Bury, Ward said he would look to have three senior sides at Ram Meadow.
“If the FA come up with a reason why we are not able to fold it we will run it as normal from Bury Town,” he said.
“We very strongly feel if it is ‘Team Bury’ it should be run from Bury St Edmunds.”
The current Team Bury manager, Sam Crook, tweeted on Wednesday evening that open trials for the new Bury Town U23s team will take place at Hardwick Heath on June 12 and 14 (6.45pm).
Meanwhile, Jay Proctor won both the Supporters’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year at Team Bury’s awards, while Sam Last pickled up Manager’s Player.