After two rollercoaster seasons that featured trials and tribulations, a host of skilled players and a Final Four appearance, the Ipswich under-14 Boys enter the 2016/17 season with a fresh look and many new beginnings. The age group has 28 keen and eager players and two teams in the South Premier Division and East Development League.
The Premier Division team (Under-14 I) is made up of a talented group of youngsters including Tom Hindley and Seb Mobee, both of whom represented the club on the Regional Performance Pathway last season, and is led by Coach Colin Dockrell, the Ipswich veteran who is in his debut National League season on the sidelines.
“I am excited for the season ahead,” says Coach Dockrell. “I have a group of players who have a year of experience from last season and with the players gaining more experience playing with each other I have seen them develop already.” The under-14 Premier team have a great balance with a range of options in all positions.
“I really hope myself and Coach Dockrell can help every player to reach their maximum potential this season” – Syd Payne
The Development League team (Under-14 II) consists of 17 players that are new to the National League set up as well as another debut, for Coach Syd Payne.
“I am motivated and enthusiastic looking ahead to the season,” Coach Payne says. “We have a real chance to begin building a great team. All but one player is under-13 or younger so we have a real opportunity to start something brilliant as the team will remain together for two years.
“With new coaches and new players we are trying to put everything in place. This year will be a challenge, with such a young and inexperienced team there will be bumps along the way but the motivation and determination each player is showing at every training session gives me confidence that they will flourish into a strong young team.
“The development team includes no fewer than seven players who represented Suffolk last season… so the potential is awesome.”
Both teams, who train together, will have had just eight sessions together before their first games on 24th September and are showing chemistry already, according to Coach Payne: “The boys from both squads have really impressed me so far this season. The attitude and work ethic that has been on display at training is brilliant and I can see both teams getting better.”
Coach Payne went on to explain the goals for the season. “I am looking forward to starting the main part of the season. ‘Preseason’ has been hectic with a whole lot of information to give the boys before the first game.
“Once the season is underway, we will start the development programme we have planned that will involve setting each player goals to work towards, in season skills testing and training/injury prevention activities to do at home. I have already seen players embracing this idea and choosing to start on their own. This is outstanding. I really hope myself and Coach Dockrell can help every player to reach their maximum potential this season.”