Seasiders set for historic clash with Bury Town

Sam Ford and Seasiders fans celebrate promotion to Bostik North. Picture: STAN BASTON

Sam Ford and Seasiders fans celebrate promotion to Bostik North. Picture: STAN BASTON

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The waiting is almost over.

Since clinching promotion back in April at home to Walsham-le-Willows, the Seasiders have been busy preparing for a new season, playing at the highest level the club has ever reached, writes Barry Grossmith.

Felixstowe director of football Tony Barnes alongside Kevin O’Donnell, Ian Watson and Stuart Stevenson. Picture: CAROLE ROBINSONFelixstowe director of football Tony Barnes alongside Kevin O’Donnell, Ian Watson and Stuart Stevenson. Picture: CAROLE ROBINSON

Pre-season has brought with it mixed rewards with two wins, two defeats and a draw. But as everyone knows, pre-season is mainly about bedding in new players and building up to match fitness. Results are rarely good indicators for the campaign ahead.

The opening fixture on Saturday at The Goldstar Ground sees Felixstowe pitted against their Suffolk rivals Bury Town, who finished in a creditable ninth place last season.

Bury, managed by Ben Chenery, bring with them plenty of experience following promotion from The Eastern Counties League back in 2006/7 and have now spent the last 12 years at a higher level than their hosts.

Speaking to Seasiders TV, Bury assistant boss Christian Appleford said: “We’re happy with where we finished last season when we had a small, inexperienced and young squad.”

Asked about expectations for this season, he added: “I’d like to think we’ll be hitting the play-offs. That’s our aim. We’re ambitious.”

And when quizzed on the sides he thought might do well in this league he added: “Coggeshall and Heybridge Swifts will be there or thereabouts as will Maldon and Tiptree.”

Felixstowe and Walton joint manager Kevin O’Donnell, speaking earlier said: “This is the strongest squad we’ve ever had at Felixstowe, there’s a blend of youth and experience and for many teams in The Bostik North we will be an unknown….our aim for Saturday is clear. We’re looking for three points against Bury Town.”

Adding to this, joint manager Ian Watson said: ”I’m looking forward to this, but consistency is going to be very important and success will mean being competitive the season through.”

Amongst the many fans, hopes and dreams vary but above all else, people seem to simply want the season to get under way as soon possible.

An opening fixture against Suffolk rivals brings with it just that little extra spice.

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