Woodbridge plan to stage 'replay' game

PUBLISHED: 01:00 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:37 04 March 2010

WOODBRIDGE Town are planning to stage a 'replay' against mighty Arsenal next pre-season to kick-off their 125-year anniversary.

And the Ridgeons League, Premier Division club have scheduled a brand new ground within the next five years.

WOODBRIDGE Town are planning to stage a 'replay' against mighty Arsenal next pre-season to kick-off their 125-year anniversary.

And the Ridgeons League, Premier Division club have scheduled a brand new ground within the next five years.

The Woodpeckers entertained a Gunners side that included striker Andrew Cole in 1990 to commemorate the opening of their current Notcutt's Park ground.

Around 3,000 spectators watched the game, and Woodbridge chairman John Beecroft has already set the ball rolling by writing to the Premier League giants.

“It would be an ideal way to start our celebrations,” said Beecroft. “I've sent off a copy of a report of the previous game to remind Arsenal what a big occasion it was.

“Hopefully they'll be willing to return. If not perhaps Ipswich Town will do us the honours as they have been very helpful in the past.”

The football club have played a big part in Woodbridge life since the 1880's, and even more so in the last 20 years since they became permanent members of the senior football scene.

And this has every chance of escalating if ambitious plans to build a new state-of-the-art sports complex near the Melton roundabout come to fruition.

Talks are about to take place with Suffolk Coastal Council; with Woodbridge Rugby Club a partner in the venture.

“Our landlord, Charles Notcutt, would like to take our current ground back, and our lease runs out in 2015,” said Beecroft.

“We have the option of an extra 10 years, but we would run out of help if we went for that.

“Along with rugby club president Bob Simpson we have a meeting planned with the council, and there is a farmer, who is a keen sportsman, interested in providing land.

“The rugby club wants to move nearer Woodbridge from their current Bromeswell base, and we both see it as an ideal partnership with Woodbridge traditionally lacking in sporting facilities.”

The land in question is the other side of the A12 from Farlingaye School and they are a third party in the scheme with any new centre giving the school use of all-weather outdoor sporting facilities that they currently lack.

For the immediate future, Beecroft is looking for results to improve and for manager Mark Scopes to keep Woodbridge in the Premier Division.

“Mark is doing an excellent job with the resources he has available,” said Beecroft.

“We lost Craig Stuart to Felixstowe and Walton United this week and failed to sign Liam Jones from Needham Market with the keeper not wanting to commit himself to a contract.

“Every week we are meetings sides with bigger budgets than ours, but we have to ensure that Woodbridge Town will be around in the future.”

For another 125 years perhaps.

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