Pitching In Isthmian Supporters predictions 23-24: Felixstowe and Walton United

We asked supporters of our Pitching In Isthmian League clubs to preview the new season, reflect on the old and predict the final outcome. We’re off to the seaside, visiting Felixstowe & Walton United with Chris Daynes.

1. Thinking about last season, what were your highlights?

I don’t think you can look past the 4-0 home win over Hashtag, although the celebration when Zak Brown went through on goal and thundered the ball into the top corner to confirm a late win against Stowmarket and take our play off hopes into the final week of the campaign is also right up there!

I do love an away day, as I can actually watch some football (without being snowed under with 101 jobs on a home matchday!) so any away win is also a highlight as it makes for an enjoyable journey back.

2. And what was the worst moment?

Obviously falling short by one goal in the final game to miss out on the playoffs was a big disappointment. Everyone loves a cup run too, so to go out at the first hurdle in both the FA Cup and Trophy was a feeling I hope we don’t have to repeat this season!

3. Which member of your squad was your Player of the Season - and why?

I voted for Charlie Warren, although there were several others I felt guilty about not giving my vote to. Charlie was the young player of the year the previous campaign and is such an exciting natural talent with an ability to get you off your seat and put defenders on their backsides. He’s also a genuinely nice lad… although that goes for the whole squad, a better group you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere.

4. Moving on to your current squad- which players do you think will make a big impact during the 2023-24 campaign?

The strikers will hopefully have a big impact this year. We’ve created hatfuls of chances in the last 2/3 years without converting enough of them… and been made to pay for those missed opportunities too often.

Jack Ainsley will be a huge presence at the back, but with the ability to score goals up top if required so he’ll be a key player for us. Elsewhere, I’ve been saying in pre-season that this is the year for Harry Blackburn, another youngster who has a big future in the game.

5. Realistically, how do you think you’ll do this season?

Honestly, if we can stay injury and suspension free (our achilles heels over the last couple of seasons) we’ll be right up there challenging. Every year is about constantly improving on and off the pitch and if we can keep everyone injury free we could we getting out the maps to Stourbridge or Mickleover on a Tuesday night next season! 

6. Which matches are you most looking forward to going to- and why?

You have to look at all the Suffolk derbies. They are the worst to lose but the best to win. Ipswich Wanderers will two great occasions, being only just up the road, but at this moment I’m just looking forward to the opening day of the season. I’ve even ended my holiday a day early to ensure I’m at Maldon & Tiptree for the opener! 

7. What is your favourite Isthmian away ground?

It depends if we’re talking facilities, people or results!

I was hoping for Wroxham away in August but that wasn’t to be… that’s always a top day out and still will be even February!

I like visiting new grounds and I’ve never been to Bishops Stortford before so I’m looking forward to going there for the Enfield game.

8. If you regularly travelled away, which ground served the best food?

Well, it was Tilbury (obviously) so I’m hoping the food is still on sale when we visit Grays there this season! I won’t mention the grounds we went to where no food was on offer at all! I’ll be taking a packed lunch on occasion this year.

9. Choose your top five:

Brentwood Town, Felixstowe & Walton United, Enfield, Bowers & Pitsea, Brightlingsea Regent

Right, it's your turn! If you'd like to represent your club, please email Ian at townsendaround@gmail.com and you'll see your answers here soon.

Where next?

Tuesday Night Football We've another large selection of pre-season friendlies for you this evening. Here's a little- well, rather a big- list
Pitching In Isthmian Supporters predictions 23-24: Hastings Utd We asked supporters of our Pitching In Isthmian League clubs to preview the new season, reflect on the old and predict the final outcome. We’re off to the Sussex coast, visiting Hastings United with Matt Kemp.

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