Ipswich Town to return to play in Premier Cup

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Ipswich Town have confirmed they will re-enter a team in the Suffolk FA Premier Cup to take on the county’s non-League sides for the 2015-16 season.

It will be first time that the county’s only professional club have entered a side for three seasons.

Ipswich last played in the competition in the 2012-13 season when they lost to Lowestoft Town 1-0 at the semi-final stage.

The club plan to field an under-18 side in this season’s Premier Cup, which is to be sponsored by Omni Freight Services Ltd for the next three years.

Ipswich Town Academy Manager Bryan Klug said: “We look forward to taking part in the Suffolk Premier Cup again.

“We have a number of young players making good progress through our Academy and it will be good for their development to see them presented with the challenge of playing against local teams, with a trophy at stake.”

The club confirmed that should they be drawn out as the home team at any stage of the competition, they will be happy to concede home advantage and also allow their opponents to keep the gate money.

Suffolk FA Chief Executive Laura Smith said: “We are delighted that Ipswich Town will be competing in the Premier Cup in the coming season with local non-league players having the chance to challenge themselves against players from a professional club.

“Ipswich Town’s presence not only increases the profile of the competition, but also provides our non-league sides with the possibility of hosting a tie against the club and all the potential benefits that brings with it.”

She added that discussions with Ipswich Town regarding the possibility of playing not only the Premier Cup but also other cup finals at Portman Road this season were ongoing.

Ipswich Town’s involvement means that there will be 17 entrants into this season’s competition, meaning there will be an extra round.

The draw for the first and second rounds will be held next month.

Shaun Rudduck and Andy Wilding, directors of the competition’s new sponsors Omni Freight Services Ltd, said: “When you consider the fact that Suffolk’s biggest football clubs such as Lowestoft Town, Leiston, Needham Market, AFC Sudbury and Bury Town are involved in the Premier Cup, Ipswich Town’s involvement adds that little bit extra to this prestigious competition.

“Omni Freight Services Ltd are very much looking forward to being a part of this for the next three years.”

Lowestoft Town are the current Premier Cup holders, after defeating Whitton United 2-1 after extra time in last season’s final at Leiston FC.