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Stone and Jefford collect pair of prizes

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:27 05 July 2010

Mark Boggis

A SUCCESSFUL season of "transition" has been hailed at Kirkley and Pakefield's annual presentation evening.

Celebrating progression on and off the field, after another significant campaign, at their end of season presentation night last Saturday, the club laid out their blueprint for the future.

Mark Boggis

A SUCCESSFUL season of “transition” has been hailed at Kirkley and Pakefield's annual presentation evening.

Celebrating progression on and off the field, after another significant campaign, at their end of season presentation night last Saturday, the club laid out their blueprint for the future.

And praising the club's achievements at the glittering awards night, which was held in a marquee at their Walmer Road headquarters, the evening marked the next phase in their development.

“Last season was all about transition and building the foundations of a team to challenge at this level,” first team manager Nick Shorten said. “We had changes to deal with in the management team with the departure of Carl Chenery and subsequently we introduced a new management and coaching team with David Burrows and Andrew Armes in my management team and Mitch Rumsey and Paul Graham returning to the club to lead the coaching effort, which was a huge bonus.”

More than 200 players, staff, sponsors families and supporters honoured a successful season both on and off the pitch for the senior Kirkley teams.

And fittingly the 20 trophies that were handed out to the seven senior K&P sides - the first team, reserve team, A team, youth team, veterans team, veterans reserves team and veterans over 40 team - all showed the seamless development and progression between Kirkley and their partners Pakefield FC.

There was double joy for two K&P first teamers as they took pride of place at Saturday's awards.

Commanding centre back Joe Jefford followed last year's hat trick at the club awards evening with another two trophies.

He collected the players' player and supporters' player of the year honours, with striker Nathan Stone also firing in a twosome - as he picked up the most improved player and manager's player awards.

The pair had impressed on the field during an excellent campaign, as Nick Shorten's men took their highest-ever Ridgeons League Premier Division placing in finishing in sixth - an improvement on seventh place in the 2006/7 season.

And reflecting on this, the K&P boss told The Journal this would be a further springboard to future success.

“As well as the management team restructure, we also introduced a number of new players into the club at the start of last season and also during the season - again these changes have required transition time,” he said.

“So taking these transitions into account and our position of sixth in the league, I now feel that we are well positioned to launch a serious campaign for the Ridgeons League title.”

To move onto this next level, Shorten has quickly boosted his playing ranks with a quickfire double capture of Wroxham's Justin Fox and Lee Gilman.

James Hutchinson's reserves team just missed out on another promotion into senior football - but with the club's aim to move onwards and ever upwards they're close to fulfilling this dream.

As are Shaun Norman's A team who also made great strides on the field in the Notleys Lowestoft and District League first division, before tailing away slightly after Christmas.

The biggest applause of the evening centred on the achievements of the all-conquering double winners from John Sturman's veterans first team, and at the other end of the sphere the successful K&P youth team, managed by Graham Bunning, Shaun Norman and Micky Tacon - who just missed out on lifting the overall Ridgeons Youth League title after a defeat to Buntingford Youth.

The appreciative audience also hailed the tireless work off the field of Graham Bunning as he collected the clubman of the year award from general manager Harry Goldspink, while K&P chairman Charles Samkin awarded the prestigious Jimmy Armes Shield to the hard-working Barrie Atkins and Mervyn Durrant.

And paying tribute to all these unsung heroes off the field, and the players on it, Nick Shorten admitted he was looking forward to an exciting future.

“Off the pitch we have made a significant investment in our playing surface and irrigation infrastructure and have employed specialist contractors who have already started to re-lay our pitch to a standard that is conducive with our playing style and our playing investment,” he said.

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