BARDWELL Sports are relishing the opportunity to play in this season’s Suffolk Champions Charity Shield.
The McDonald’s Suffolk Primary Cup holders face Stowupland Falcons, winners of last season’s Parkers Pitches Suffolk Junior Cup, in the match at Bury Town FC on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm.
Anyone purchasing a ticket for the match will be supporting the charity of their choice – Bardwell Sports are supporting Stroke Association and Stowupland Falcons’ chosen charity is Red Gables Garden Project.
To purchase tickets for the match at the Atalian Servest Stadium click the button below.
Bardwell Sports, who also won promotion to Division Two of the Macron SIL last season, are looking forward to facing their Division One opponents.
Henry Cutting, who is manager of Bardwell Sports, said: “Very much so, it will be a tough challenge but one we are certainly relishing. Stowupland have a great side and are one of the better teams in Division One, so it will be a good test of where we stand as a team.”
Cutting said the match provided not only a good pre-season test but the chance to win some silverware before the campaign has even started.
He said: “We haven't had the smoothest of pre-seasons so it will be a real test of where we are physically, but we’ve always had great quality in this side, so I’m not worried about our ability to match our opponents.
“We did beat Stowupland last year in a friendly match, however I have no doubt this will be a tougher challenge with their team improving year-on-year, but with some silverware up for grabs, I would never count us out.”
Bardwell lifted the Primary Cup for the first time thanks to a 4-0 victory over Kesgrave Kestrels in the final at Colchester United FC, with the three Evans brothers playing a prominent role.
Cutting added: “We have a very loyal and family-oriented team, none more so than the Evans brothers. Stan, Guy and Robbie Evans have all been stalwarts for Bardwell since our inception in 2017 and have made a combined 238 appearances for the club, so it was fitting that in last season’s final Stan and Robbie got on the scoresheet and Guy put in a Man of the Match performance.”
The Stroke Association is the chosen charity of Bardwell Sports and Cutting said: “It’s a really worthwhile cause that so many people have been affected by.
“It can cause serious emotional and physical effects not only for the patient but also for close friends and family around them.
“We’re hoping that the support we are able to give can raise even more awareness to everybody about the wider risks it can cause.”
Stowupland Falcons defeated Mutford & Wrentham 1-0 in the Junior Cup Final at Colchester United FC to retain the trophy they won against the same opponents 12 months earlier.
Saturday’s match represents a chance to erase the memory of last season’s encounter with then Primary Cup holders Bramford United when Stowupland Falcons were soundly beaten 5-0.
Manager Mark Dye said: “I think Bardwell will be a tough game for us. They are a talented bunch of lads so we’re really looking forward to playing them.
“Playing Bramford United and losing makes us want to win it more this season and I should imagine Bardwell will also be up to the challenge.
“Every game we want to win, and this is an excellent opportunity to test ourselves and hopefully win some silverware, but I’m expecting a very competitive game.
“This is a great occasion to play at a good stadium with a large crowd – there’s no better feeling than that in football and sets us up nicely for the season ahead!”
The Red Gables Garden Project in Stowmarket is the chosen charity of Stowupland Falcons for this season’s Suffolk Champions Charity Shield.
Dye said: “We felt we wanted to support a local charity which helped people with mental health and learning difficulties, so this was ideal to help with much-needed funds as sometimes these great charities get overlooked.”
Dave Kempson (not in picture) scores from the penalty spot past Stowupland Falcons’ goalkeeper Greg Graham to put Bramford United 3-0 ahead in last season’s Suffolk Champions Charity Shield match at Needham Market FC. Photograph: Paul Voller.
To purchase tickets for Saturday’s match click the button below.