Welcome to Felixstowe & Walton United Football Club

Welcome to the Seasider’s official website 2017/18.

2016 was the dawn of a new era for the club, an ever growing youth section, the first sod being turned and the first brick being laid for our new home.

The building of the clubhouse which we now call home was a long time in the planning & construction and it was all done with one objective, to take our club and all its teams, both senior and junior, to a better place on the football map!

Hopefully 2017/18 will see us consolidate our place and go from strength to strength.

Join us on the Journey, bring a friend, there’s room for everyone!

webmaster@felixstowefootball.co.uk

 

 

 

Walking With The Wounded!

Walking with the wounded

Charity Fund Raiser

Updated 7pm Thursday 7th December 2017

Our Under 15’s are to undertake a Charity walk to help raise funds for the 'Walking With The Wounded' Charity. The walk takes place on Wednesday 20th December starting from the Millenium Green, Kesgrave starting at 7pm.

Anybody wishing to join in the walk either as a team, or as an individual will require Hi Viz jackets, torch’s, waterproof boots or good walking shoes, warm clothing, hats (Santa type!), gloves and ‘back pack’, volunteers are requested to put 10lb in weight into their backpack to make it a little more realistic and harder to complete.

The walk is approximately 3 miles and is headed up by Chris Hunt. Entry is £10 per person payable on the night with all proceeds going to walking with the wounded charity.

Does this appeal to you as a challenge, while supporting a great cause?

Why not join the boys!

The reason the Under 15’s do this is firstly it’s good for the boys to remember that not everyone is as lucky or has a lovely time at Christmas as they do, and to help to make lives better for other people, all the money goes to ex-servicemen and woman who are suffering with mental illness etc (more details in the link for you), and that £10 makes a big difference to their lives.

If you would like more information about the event go to

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

If you would like to donate to a worthy cause go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Carol-Taylor23

If you would like to know more about the charity go to https://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/

 

SUPERCALAFRAGILISTICEXPEALIDOCIUS

What else is there to say?

Oh What a Night!

What a brilliant night/occasion it turned out to be!

What a fabulous weekend in fact! For the football club and for the town of Felixstowe. Friday night, the highest attendance for a league match in the club’s history (623) and the highest for any game in Suffolk over the weekend, including Bostik (Isthmian) League matches that traditionally have the higher attendances. Ok, Ipswich Town were away, but hey! Enjoy it while we can!

The euphoria was slowly easing as we prepared for Sunday night and the Firework display – again, traditionally the main Guy Fawkes event on the Peninsula, but even the event organisers, perhaps that should be singular, as Chris Daynes has spent many a long hour, organising the night while being ably assisted by other committee & club members, were delightfully shocked by how the whole event went.

It was the 10th year, and the first where rain, or cold or snow were noticeably absent, and it produced some remarkable facts and figures.

On the night, just over 4,600 people were in the Goldstar ground enjoying themselves, before and after the display. Another record breaker, there were no major issues, no sign of trouble and everyone having a good time!

Gross income from the event was up significantly but so, of course, was the expenditure! The cost of the display, which everyone seemed to agree, was excellent, cost significantly more than last year and the club had to lay out over £12,000 before there was any return on the investment, a huge gamble on the weather, made back in the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, but it proved well worth it and with the club selecting a charity to sponsor each year, F.A.C.T.S. and Level Two were better off by £1,000 between them.

  Overall, a great night and Super Seasider weekend! Thanks to all who contributed to making it such a great event, to all the volunteers who spent so many hours in the preparation and afterwards (we even had one at the ground at 7am on Monday, clearing up!)

 

 

Thank you, and Roll on 2018!!

 

Fireworks, Funfairs and Seasiders!

It’s back Bigger than ever!

10th fireworks spectacular!

Updated 3pm 27th September 2017It is one of the biggest nights in Felixstowe's events calendar and this year it’s the 10th Annual Felixstowe Firework Spectacular, back with a bang … bigger than ever before!

4,000 people attended last year’s huge display and in 2017 the organisers are promising even more fun for the whole family with the addition of a live music stage featuring the UK's Number 1 ABBA tribute band- The AbbaBabes!

The 20 minute professional display will be fired to music once again.

As well as the display, the event will feature a fun fair, sideshows, the night flight aerial display team and a food village featuring a BBQ, Wood Fired pizzas, jacket potatoes, posh coffee, donuts and much more.

Over the years, thousands of pounds have been raised for local charities and this year the event organised by The Football Club will benefit the Mayor's Charities, including, Level Two and FACTS, as well as providing the Town of Felixstowe with a major public firework display of its very own to be proud of!

 


Big savings can be made by buying tickets before the day. They are available from 6th October at a discounted advance rate from outlets in the town (Coes Menswear, Underwoods Hardware, Chuckles, Spa Pavilion Theatre Box Office or the Football Club) as well as online on this website by clicking the link below

http://www.felixstowefootball.co.uk/club/events/felixstowe-fireworks/buy-tickets

 

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Development Gets Go-Ahead

Planning Permission Granted

Updated 0900 21st September 2017The football club are pleased to announce we have now received full planning permission for both recent applications - the installation of a new grandstand and an extension to the clubroom to create a larger function room.

Both applications were expected to have been decided several weeks ago, but were delayed whilst planning officers considered objections from a number of local residents.

The football club had already secured permission for a new 100 seater grandstand to be placed adjacent to the existing seated stand, on the other side of the newly created players tunnel, but for a number of reasons decided to re-apply for permission to site the grandstand behind the Colneis Road end goal instead. The result will be much needed cover for those who choose to watch their football from that end of the ground. In addition to the grandstand (which will look identical to the existing 100 seater stand), a new line of fencing will be erected either side of the structure, the full width of the pitch to further enclose the ground and at the same time create a storage area behind for goals and grounds equipment, rather than it all being on open display as is the current situation. 

The cost of the stand and associated works is estimated at £30,000. 

In the next close season, the club becomes eligible to apply for a grant for 50% of ground improvement works, up to around £60,000. 

The FA have also confirmed that due to the restructure of the Step 4 divisions above, and the need for teams to be promoted to fill the additional places created at Step 4, ground grading will be relaxed this season for those clubs seeking promotion. Normally, clubs wanting to go up would have to meet the higher ground grading by the end of March prior to promotion, but this decision ultimately gives an extra year to complete improvements. Therefore, it is the intention to wait until the close season to submit a grant application once it becomes available, together with a claim for other work including a new pitchside barrier system. In the meantime, the football club will set about raising the other 50% costs through fundraising and sponsorship.

Full details of these will be released in due course. 

The second development project, Phase 2 of the clubhouse, will double the size of the social space and bar service area, and include additional toilets, storage and an office. It will feature a folding partition wall which will enable the flexibility of having one large area for functions, or to create separate areas. This could lead to a stand-alone members’ bar, for those who don't want to watch the football match, or enable 2 events to operate simultaneously, e.g. A private meeting or party at the same time as a football match, something that is difficult in the existing limited space.

Now permission has been granted, the board of directors for the Felixstowe & Walton United Community Social Club Ltd (all football club committee members, and operated purely to benefit the football side with all profits invested in football), are in the process of investigating funding options.

These options could include a bond investment scheme, and further details will be released once we are in a position to do so.

The football club have worked incredibly hard to plan these latest developments, and we recognise and respect the rights of our local residents to object to additional development at the ground. Plenty of work has gone into minimising the impact on residents with the design, layout and appearance of both the stand and the clubroom extension and we aim to be good neighbours, particularly with all those residents surrounding the ground who supported the recently completed clubhouse complex.

Whilst the surrounding roads are residential areas, the council recognised that the Town Ground is designated as a Football Sports Hub in the local plan, and therefore we are pleased the decisions to improve football club facilities even further at the ground were approved. We hope the fears of those who did object will prove to be unfounded once these developments are completed, and we can continue the good relationship between all parties for the benefit of all parties, but in particular for the future of football in the town for generations to come.

++++++++++++++++++++

Excellent article by the Premier League published today

https://www.premierleague.com/news/464517

Updated 8pm 7th September 2017

 

New Difbrulator installed

For Clubhouse & Community

Updated 1700 25th August 2017

We would like to extend our thanks & gratitude to the local branch of the Felixstowe United Service Lodge who made a significant donation towards the cost of the new defribulator now installed on the clubhouse wall, an item we hope we never have cause to use, but an invaluable item when needed. Below is an extract from the lodge's magazine showing how they have assisted.

Again many thanks for your generous help

 

 

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION UPDATE

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

Thursday 27th July 2017

Statement regarding matchday ground access!

I am aware of some confusion over the matchday access into the ground on a First Team home game - disagreements over the decisions made, and even hostilities from a minority of people aimed at some members of the committee that has led to some club officials, myself included, questioning whether to continue at the football club, overshadowing what should be the most exciting period in the history of the club.

Therefore, I have decided to detail the reasoning behind the decisions, taking into account the challenges we faced with the new ground layout, the various options we had, the results of the test events and clarifying in detail the resulting matchday procedures.

Firstly, it’s important to remember where we have come from. A fenced off corner of a recreation ground, with a wide open entry gate and all the toilet, bar, changing rooms and kitchen facilities being located 40 yards away down a walkway. Clearly, moving all of those facilities to the side of the main pitch and fully enclosing the ground was going to be new for everybody, after decades of being used to the old way. 

It is also important to highlight the challenges we face, in terms of meeting FA requirements.

Felixstowe & Walton United’s senior side are part of the football league pyramid, playing at step 9 of the national game and step 5 of the non league game. We are several leagues above ‘park football’ and at each level of the pyramid there are ground grading requirements to compete at that level. In our case we currently have a GRADE F ground, and are working towards GRADE E, which is the grade required for clubs wishing to be promoted from Step 5 to Step 4.

These grades include the following ground rules amongst dozens of others:

The ground must give an overall appearance and impression of being a football ground suitable for the National League System. 

The ground must be enclosed by a permanent boundary, which will prevent individuals from viewing the game from outside the ground. 

There must be at least 2 spectator entrances to control the ingress of spectators. These must be controlled by fully operational turnstiles of the revolving type and must be suitably housed and lit.

Where deemed that they are likely to interfere with the playing of a match, ball games must not be played on adjoining pitches whilst a match is in progress. 

We are also obligated by membership of the Thurlow Nunn (Eastern Counties) League to charge admission to spectators to view the game, detailed here:

All League and Cup games shall have a minimum full, adult admission charge of £5 (although we have charged £6 for the last 5 years, comparable to other local clubs). Concessionary reductions are permitted. This entrance charge to the ground is the responsibility of the home Club and ALL spectators, other than League or Club officials of both teams who show a current League Pass, shall be charged accordingly.

In recognition of their dedication to the club, we grant complimentary entry to all club managers and coaches, but in terms of fairness to those who do pay the admission fee, we have a duty to charge the admission fee to all others wishing to view the game, although we are proud of the fact we are one of the few clubs at our level who give free entry to all children under the age of 16, and have done so for the last 9 years.

So, coming back to the decision process on the new ground layout and matchday access. We had to work out a system where we met all those requirements. Whichever option we went with, there were winners and losers, it was our job to find the best solution that worked for the vast majority, whilst also taking into account the simplest and best solution for the team of volunteers who have to administer the matchday procedures.

Initially, it was thought that we would keep a similar system to the old method, i.e. have the clubroom and bar open to all, with anyone wishing to view the match having to leave through the main doors and walk to the turnstile entry point to gain access to the enclosed ground. This meant keeping the patio doors on the pitchside of the clubroom locked, to prevent entry into the ground without paying or showing a relevant pass. The major stumbling block with this option was the fact that anyone, once inside the ground, couldn't then access the bar or clubroom, disadvantaging all those (with increased spectator participation predicted) who wish to purchase a drink, shelter, meet friends in the bar or view TV matches, at least until after half time when the pitchside clubroom doors would be opened again.

Another option was to keep all the doors open, main doors and pitchside clubroom and direct anyone from the clubroom back to the turnstiles, if they wanted to watch the game. This helped those who had entered the match to gain access back into the clubroom and bar, but logistically is incredibly complicated to police. Keeping track of every person coming both in and out of the pitchside doors and knowing if they have paid (or have a pass) would require tickets to be issued when coming through the turnstiles, having volunteers permanently manned by the pitchside doors, and potentially lead to confrontations when people were denied access back out into the ground in the event of lost tickets, or people not taking kindly to being able to sit outside or join their family and friends who have paid to enter the ground. At the Ipswich Town match, it was estimated that 80 spectators entered to watch the match without paying, not necessarily deliberately, but by walking up to the new main clubhouse entrance, coming through to the bar and then gaining access to the main pitch through the pitchside doors.

The 3rd option was to do what we have subsequently tried to establish. To ‘move’ the main doors over to the turnstiles/accessible gate entry point, 2 hours before kick off on a first team matchday. This meant closing the main clubroom door, and directing anyone wishing to gain access to the ground, bar or clubroom through the new entry point. By using this method, the pitchside doors could remain open throughout the period before and during the game, because we knew that everyone would have either paid the entry fee or shown a valid pass, or been exempted the fee. For the ‘foot soldiers’, the volunteers working on the ground, it was a simpler solution and it worked for the vast majority of the people at the football club. This is also the method used at every other club. Every away ground we go to has the same system, and it was important we took guidance from them, given this is all new to us, and obviously works for them.

However, there are some people who are disadvantaged by this system, namely those social club members who have paid their membership and wish to come up to the club on a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening and socialise and enjoy a drink, but do not want to view the match - something that was perfectly possible in the old pavilion 40 yards away from the main pitch. Personally, I felt that in effect, the football club are ‘hiring’ the facility from the social club in the period before and during the game, and therefore the bar and clubroom would be unavailable to social club members not wanting to view the match. Effectively, this is the same situation members would face if we hired the social club to any 3rd party. If a private party was booked on a Saturday evening we would have to inform the members that the club was unavailable to them, just as we did in the old pavilion. 

Early on in the discussions, it was decided that if the juniors were playing on Saturday morning and were still in the clubroom at 1pm when the ‘matchday entry system’ was put into effect, they would be allowed to stay in the club. Despite suggestions to the contrary, nobody was being ‘locked in or locked out’, although those present would still be asked to either pay the admission fee, or show a pass, if they subsequently stayed and wanted to watch the match outside. Anyone leaving the clubroom to go home would have to go out through one of the 2 ground exits, rather than through the main clubroom doors.

Some confusion still exists for those who are social club members, wanting to use the bar on a matchday not wanting to watch the game. So for clarity, social club members wishing to do this can show their membership card to the steward on the accessible gate adjacent to the turnstile building, who will then grant access in to the enclosed ground, and direct them round to the clubroom. The club is trusting that these members will not exploit this, and subsequently watch the match (that don’t forget we have an obligation to charge for), they must stay in the clubroom. On Saturday a couple of members were admitted this way saying they just wanted a drink and didn't want to watch the match, and were then observed a few minutes later sat in the stand watching the game. Clearly this isn't fair on the club, or all those who have gained admission legitimately. The club will monitor this relaxing of the entry rules for members, and if the membership is being abused in this way, we will review the system and if widespread, may withdraw the privilege, and/or revoke the membership of those not adhering to our rules.

To confirm, for any other senior match that has an admission charge, such as Reserves, Under 18’s and Ipswich Town Ladies fixtures, the turnstiles will not be in use. The main club doors will be open and we will have a ‘gateman’ on the pitchside patio doors to take the admission fee as spectators exit the clubroom and enter the main pitch surrounds. Again, we will monitor this and if it is found not to work we will review, and may implement the same system used for first team matchdays.

It has also been alleged that decisions have been made without consultation. The club committee is open for anyone to join and have their say in the decision making process. Every single committee member has the opportunity to have their say, whether they agree with each other or not, and then a majority decision is made, hopefully in the best interests of the club in what it is trying to achieve. Nobody is setting out to be anti-junior, or anti-members or anti-anything! We are pro-whole-club! 

In this specific case, the matchday volunteer team had a de-brief session after the Ipswich game (the first fixture in our new ground layout) to look at what worked and what didn't work, coming up with some solutions that the majority thought would work. The options detailed above were then put to the wider committee/s to vote and the majority decision was implemented, i.e. the system of moving the matchday entrance to the turnstiles. Admittedly some don’t agree with the decision, but hopefully in a few matches time when everyone is used to the new system, and with a few tweaks along the way (like the entry to members to the bar) we will find it is the best way forward for 99.9% of us (you'll never please everyone). On the plus side, many comments have been received about the ground finally feeling like a ‘proper’ football ground rather than a fenced off pitch. Unfortunately, as I said at the beginning (if you're still with me!) some negative criticism is driving a wedge between people in the club.

Another couple of contentious issues are, balls being brought into the enclosed ground, and people being allowed onto the main pitch to play before, at half time, and after a game. Like any other football ground from Old Trafford to AFC Sudbury, clubs have these rules. We have always had these rules too, but perhaps they have not been enforced as they should have been, leading to it becoming the norm. The club took the opportunity of instigating the new ground layout to come up with a set of ground regulations that clearly stated the behavioural standards expected at the ground, for the benefit of all users. These have been available on the website for a couple of weeks and have been distributed via the newsletter, social media and with signage at entry points into the ground. 

Spectator balls are not allowed into the enclosed ground. On many occasions, balls have entered the field of play during a game or have even hit other spectators. 

Nobody is allowed onto the field of play without permission. The main pitch is used by 6 teams this coming season - U15 EJA, U16 EJA, Ipswich Town Ladies, Under 18’s, Reserves and First Team. Clearly, this puts a strain on the surface, and it is in everybody’s interests to protect the pitch as much as possible, to avoid postponements later in the season. 

We urge you to adhere to these rules, and not argue with our volunteer stewards when requesting people to come off the playing surface. It has been suggested that a couple of children won’t do any damage, but if we let two on, it’s giving license to everyone to then go on and play. 

This is a new, exciting time for the Seasiders, on and off the pitch. Although causing some teething problems, the new building gives the club a future it wouldn't have had in the old pavilion. The junior section is thriving, membership is increasing, the club is receiving publicity and capturing the imagination of the Town, like it has never done before.

Season ticket sales have been exceptional for a club at our level, first team matchdays are thriving social events, with crowds doubling, and probably doubling again this season. We are set up to progress through the divisions (bringing in stricter ground grading conditions!), providing a pathway for the current children and future generations to represent the club. We haven’t built these facilities for the first team - although clearly the first team at any one time in history is the side that has to adhere to the strictest FA guidelines - we have built them for the children of today and tomorrow. Without it, the current U12’s for instance, would not have had a club to play at in three or four years’ time when the old pavilion would have been condemned. The reality is, without a senior set up, there wouldn’t be a junior set up, that’s why we all need to focus on the positives - not find fault in every decision made, and work together to build a bright future for Felixstowe & Walton United Football Club. Remember the old saying…… 22 teams, ONE club… Stronger, together! 

Regards

Chris Daynes

Facilities Manager

Felixstowe & Walton United FC

Posted 3pm 27/07/2017

 

FULL FACILITIES OPENING DETAILS

Club Officially open pitchside facilities

Sunday 9th July

The day some thought would never happen finally arrived when David Sheepshanks CBE DL, Chairman of St Georges Park, home of England football, pulled back the curtain to reveal a brass plaque marking the occasion in front of around 100 invited guests to say ‘This facility is now officially open!’

He was accompanied by Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey who has been a strong supporter of the project and the club throughout the last two years, helping to raise funds & the clubs profile in the wider community & it marked the culmination of countless hours spent by volunteers working hard over many years to make it happen.

There were short speeches from club president Dave Ashford, chairman Andy Wilding, Therese Coffey, David Sheepshanks and the man who the club have to thank most of all Chris Daynes, having overseen the fundraising and having spent almost every day at what was for 12 months, a building site, seeing the project through, Chris spoke from the heart about a club he loves and his pride in what had been achieved.

      

         A photo opportunity caught by Steve Waller shortly after the ceremony

 

Invited guests & club committee members gather outside for the official opening

(Left) Dr Therese Coffey MP gives a short speech before the official opening

(Right) L-R David Ashford (Club President) David Rose (Football Foundation) Mrs Newman, Graham Newman (Deputy Mayor), David Sheepshanks CBE DL, Andy Wilding (Club Chairman), Dr Therese Coffey (MP), Phil Lawler (Chairman Suffolk FA)

Left - Right & Below - David Sheepshanks CBE DL, Officially declares the new facility open and reveals plaque to mark the occasion.

 

                        

Facilities Manager Chris Daynes who spent a year on site during the build with David Sheepshanks CBE DL. 

 

Big Thanks to Steve Waller our photographer who offered his services free of charge.

 

 

The club have announced that the ‘Official’ opening of the new clubhouse facility will take place on Saturday 8th July 2017. There will be invited guests and dignitaries at the opening, including many of those who have worked closely with the club over the past two years to raise the £528,000 needed to build the complex.

The club are also extremely pleased to announce that the official ribbon cutting ceremony will be carried out by Mr David Sheepshanks CBE DL, a friend of The Seasiders for many years, supporting the club at many of its functions, including the annual Suffolk Sportsman’s dinner.

Mr Sheepshanks is the founding and current Chairman of the St George’s Park National Football Centre and a former Chairman of Ipswich Town FC and The Football League, the club are very proud to have him as the chief guest at the opening.

Following the official opening the ‘New’ turnstiles will open to let in the general public and Seasider supporters to watch a match between Felixstowe & Walton United and Ipswich Town Under 23’s with a 4pm kick-off to officially christen the whole of the new facilities.

The full facilities will be open and available to the general public from 3pm onwards, including bar, Kitchen and clubroom. With this been a representative match, season tickets will not be valid for the game but entry via the turnstiles will be at the usual price of £6.00 adults, £3.00 concessions, under 16's go free with the club maintaining the admission levels of 2016/17 for the new season.

More info on this to follow …..

 

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