AFC Sudbury played four matches against teams from SV Höxter, of Sudbury’s German twin town, at the weekend, as part of Celebrate Sudbury 2012 – two on Saturday and two on Sunday.
The weekend was organised by AFC officials Richard Instance and Darren Theobald. The German visitors arrived on Thursday, and stayed at the MEL Group stadium.
Mr Theobald said: “The weekend has been a massive success.They stayed onsite with us and were very impressed with the facilities we were able to offer them.”
On Friday they went to London for the day with their hosts, and after the matches took in a tour of other events going on in Sudbury over the weekend. The trip ended with an awards ceremony at the Delphi Club on Sunday, when they were joined by a Danish handball team which had been staying in Cornard.
Saturday’s first game saw AFC Sudbury under-16s played SV Höxter’s C Junior team in a very entertaining game. The two styles of football were immediately visible as the German side played the ball on the ground and started from the back every time. The match finished 2-2 to everyone’s delight.
The second match, between AFC Sudbury’s under-18’s and SV Höxter’s B Junior team, was also very impressive, and also finished 2-2. An enjoyable morning of football drew in a good crowd in glorious sunshine.
On Sunday AFC Sudbury had the opportunity to field their “stronger” teams, as they have two teams at both under-16 and under-18. The younger teams kicked off first and AFC Sudbury were quickly into their stride.
Some very good passing and strength on the ball gave them two early goals, and SV Höxter took a while to get into the game. But AFC kept up the pressure, winning 7-0. SV Höxter were full of praise for the Sudbury team as Höxter themselves are having a great season in Germany where, with two matches to go, they are in line for promotion to their top division.
The second match saw the more physical German side take a 2-0 interval lead. AFC battled back in the second half, and levelled the score five minutes from time.
But in a dramatic finish, Höxter took the lead again, and with the clock running down looked to be heading for victory.
The best match of the weekend finished in a draw, AFC grabbing an equaliser in the last minute.
“The whole club at AFC Sudbury were very impressed with our visitors from SV Höxter and the way they conducted themselves over the whole weekend,” said Mr Theobald.
“We have started the ball rolling in organising a return visit for our players in the very near future. It was a good test our of new facilities here and I am very pleased to say that they passed with flying colours.”