Primary Cup Final Gipping Gnats Coddenham Ath May 2023 4

Coddenham will be highly motivated

CODDENHAM will be ‘incredibly motivated’ for their Suffolk Champions Charity Shield tie.

CODDENHAM Athletic will be ‘incredibly motivated’ for their Suffolk Champions Charity Shield tie.

The McDonald’s Suffolk Primary Cup holders face Parkers Pitches Suffolk Junior Cup winners AFC Kesgrave in Friday’s match at Needham Market FC, kick-off 7.30pm.




The match at Bloomfields will be the third edition of the Suffolk Champions Charity Shield, with the Primary Cup winners – Bramford United and Bardwell Sports – both beating the Junior Cup holders Stowupland Falcons in the previous games.

Aaron Pryke, the Coddenham Athletic manager, said his side are looking forward to playing against high calibre opponents.

He said: “Everyone around the club is looking forward to the game immensely. We know from last season just how much of a great occasion it is to be able to play in these games.

“It is an opportunity for the lads to play at a great venue and celebrate the achievements from last season.

“We have a group of players who are incredibly motivated at the prospect of playing such a high calibre of opposition, and hopefully show what we can do to a new audience.”

Pryke said it will be a massive honour for his side to take part in the match which is in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

He continued: “Playing in the Suffolk Champions Charity Shield is a fantastic opportunity for the players and everyone involved in the cup.

“We worked incredibly hard last year with fixtures every two or three days, and it took a lot from the lads to be able to win the Primary Cup and the Divisional Cup.

“Friday’s game is a massive honour and a gratification for the work that the lads put in throughout last season.”

Pryke, not surprisingly, said his Macronn SIL Division Four side will start as underdogs against opponents who play in Division One. 

“Our entire run within the Primary Cup competition last season saw us come up as underdogs, no more so than in the final itself in which we had to work incredibly hard to overcome a very good Gipping Gnats side.

“We go into this fixture once again as underdogs, however this time with the self-belief to know that we have been in this position before and have come out on top,” said Pryke.

AFC Kesgrave Manager Frazer Lord said Friday’s match is an opportunity for the club to showcase itself.

Lord said: “As a club we are really looking forward to the game. It’s another opportunity to win a cup and showcase ourselves and the league to others.

“The players are looking forward to the challenge and we’re hoping there will be a good support to raise money for a good cause. 

“We are looking forward to getting the season underway and hopefully we can start with a positive result on Friday night. Playing on a nice pitch in front of friends and family is always something to look forward to. 

“It’s another good day out for the club and shows the good work that happened last season. We’re a big club from youth to adult and this is an opportunity for everyone involved in AFC Kesgrave to see the results of the hard work and the pathway for all players within the club. 

Lord said he is sure that their opponents will be ‘up for the challenge’ in Friday’s match.

“Winning the Junior Cup was a fantastic achievement for the club last season. The management team and players worked hard and got their rewards. But Coddenham equally worked hard to achieve success in their cup and I’m sure they will be eager to try and win this Champions Charity Shield.

“I wouldn’t say we’re nailed on or favourites to win this as we know anything can happen in football. Coddenham have a handful of players that have played a decent level of football and I’m sure they will be up for the challenge,” he said.

All money from tickets purchased goes towards the British Heart Foundation, who will also be making a collection during the match.




Coddenham Athletic players are pictured above celebrating after their penalty shoot-out victory over Gipping Gnats in last season's McDonald's Suffolk Primary Cup Final at Colchester United FC. Photograph: Paul Voller

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