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Festival is hailed as one of the best yet

THE Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival 2024 has been hailed as one of the best yet.

THE Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival 2024 has been hailed as one of the best yet.

Suffolk FA Football Development Officer James Morley, who organised the festival, went as far to say it was arguably the best since the first one was held in 2011.

 The festival took place on Saturday and Sunday at a new location - Eastward Ho! In Felixstowe.

More than 160 teams aged from under-7s to under-15s took part and there was also a disability festival.

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Action from one of the Mixed Festivals on Saturday. Main photograph: Action from one of the Girls' Festivals on Saturday

The festival was supported by East Suffolk Councillors through their Enabling Communities Budget. They were Cllr Mark Jepson, Cllr Michael Deacon, Cllr Jan Candy (and cabinet member for Community Health), Cllr Rosie Smithson, Cllr Amanda Folley, Cllr Seamus Bennett, Cllr Lee Reeves and Cllr Mike Ninnmey.

Suffolk County Councillor Stuart Bird contributed through his Locality Budget. All the councillors equally contributed to the overall costs of running this year’s festival. 

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Action from the Disability Festival between Coplestonians (maroon shirts) and the Ipswich Town Foundation (blue shirts)

The highlight of the weekend was the Videndum Suffolk Girls’ Under-14 Cup Final on Sunday afternoon in which Bury Town Community beat Coplestonians 3-2 on penalties following a thrilling 5-5 draw.

Coplestonians led 3-1 at one stage but Bury Town Community scored twice in quick succession to level it up at 3-3. Both teams then held the lead but could not be separated at the ned of a pulsating final.

The Videndum Suffolk Girls’ Under-16 Final was scheduled to be played the previous day, but Coplestonians withdrew and the cup was awarded to their opponents Ipswich Town Foundation.

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Spectators flocked to the Grassroots Festival at Eastward Ho! in Felixstowe over the weekend

James Morley said: “What a weekend! The first Grassroots Festival outside of Ipswich and arguably the best we have done.

“A massive thank you to all the players, coaches, volunteers and spectators who came along across the weekend, and I hope you have a great time and enjoyed your football.
“Also a big thank you to East Suffolk Council for their support across the weekend and the build-up. All of the councillors who financially supported the weekend as well.


Grassroots Festival 2024 5Bury Town Community celebrate after winning the Videndum Suffolk Girls' Under-14 Cup Final which took place on Sunday at the Grassroots Festival

Thank you to Felixstowe & Walton United as well who helped make the festival run so smoothly. To all their volunteers who ran the car parking and refreshments - without them it wouldn’t have been possible.
“Also, all the Suffolk FA Staff and Youth Council who ran all the festivals, the GRF is a team effort and it takes everyone to make it possible.

“To have over 160 teams attend is great for us and the festival is a big thank you and celebration at the end of the season.
“Hopefully everyone had a great time at the festival and enjoy your summers!”

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