FA chief will visit Sudbury’s Grassroots Centre

THE chairman of the Football Association, David Bernstein, will be given a tour of AFC Sudbury’s Grassroots Centre on Saturday as part of a tour of football in the region, writes Russell Claydon.

The club were chosen out of a host of non-League clubs due to the heavy financial investment, supported by an FA grant, in a youth academy at the club, which has seen a new building, including a classroom and gym, constructed.

AFC chairman Phil Turner, who will be showing Bernstein around the club from 10am, said: “I am delighted they are taking the time to come and see what we are doing.

“I am very confident he will be impressed with what we are achieving. The club has gone from virtually zero youth teams to 19 teams in three years.”

During the special visit, Bernstein will get to see youngsters training on the pitches outside the Grassroots building.

From AFC, where he will spend 30 minutes, he will then visit Ipswich Charioteers Wheelchair football team, based at St Albans School, before making a trip to the Suffolk FA Referees’ Academy at Ipswich Town’s Playford Road training centre.

Bernstein will then watch a training session of the Ipswich Town Community Trust Down’s Syndrome Active squad before taking a seat as a guest of honour at the club’s npower Championship clash with Leeds United.

l TWO Ipswich Town players will be meeting fans and signing autographs at the Britannia bank on Market Hill in Sudbury later today.

The pair, expected to be former Great Cornard pupil Jamie Griffiths and Irish striker Ronan Murray, will be at the branch to meet staff and customers from 2pm for 45 minutes. And supporters who open an Ipswich Town Save & Support Account in Sudbury before tomorrow will receive an ITFC passbook signed by a player, while the first 30 customers to open an account will also receive two tickets to see the Blues in action against Coventry City on September 19.