COPLESTONIANS FC have become the 15th club in Suffolk to achieve Charter Standard Community Club status.
The club were presented with a plaque, a certificate and a set of footballs on Saturday in recognition of their achievement, which recognises the most advanced level of club development and football provision.
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal (back row, centre left alongside club chairman Wolf Powell) is pictured above at the presentation with club officials and under-7s who attend the club on Saturday mornings.
The training sessions are run by Dave Little and Dave McGregor, who said the club had now come full circle 45 years on from when it was established in 1973.
The club runs three adult men’s teams, an Under-18 team, 29 boys’ teams, six girls’ teams, a ladies’ team, two veterans’ teams and also Walking Football sessions.
McGregor, who is Youth chairman, Youth secretary, Veterans’ Chairman and also runs the club’s Under-18 side, has been involved with the club for 20 years.
He said: “The ethos of the club is to offer football for all ages, boys and girls, able-bodied and disabled.
“We are a community club and want everyone to a part of it and enjoy their football. It is their game and they take ownership of it – we just provide a safe environment for them to express themselves.”
McGregor (far left) continued: “Around ten years ago we recognised that our players were growing old together. We had a team of 30-35 year olds and so we started to invest in a Youth section with the idea to eventually create a link to the adult teams.
“A week ago on Saturday we had seven of our under-18s playing in the first team in a 2-1 victory over Cockfield United in the Bob Coleman Cup which was a proud moment for the club, so we have now come full circle.”
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard said: “Coplestonians are a true reflection of a Community Football Club. The club is run by a group of dedicated and passionate volunteers who put the needs, welfare and enjoyment of their players at the forefront of everything they do.
“We are very pleased that Coplestonians have been given this award to recognise the extraordinary work that they do to deliver football to members of their local community.
“The impact these clubs have on the prosperity of local people shouldn’t be underestimated and we congratulate everyone who has contributed towards this fantastic achievement.”