Ridgeons Football League
Published 20th May 2011
....turned a village pub team into a Ridgeons League outfit.
After eight years at the helm, which included three promotions in six seasons before the pain of relegation this term, Aldis will now seek a new challenge and is set for talks with a club tomorrow.
It is understood Debenham have already drawn up a list of names for potential replacements and will hold a committee meeting tonight to discuss a successor.
Former Framlingham and Stowmarket Town boss Aldis joined what was then known as Debenham Angels in 2003. He took the club, who changed their name to Debenham Leisure Centre in 2005/06, from Suffolk and Ipswich League Division One to the Ridgeons League Premier Division.
After stepping down last week following relegation in their second season at the club’s highest ever level, Aldis, who also had a spell as joint-manager, said: “From a Debenham point of view they wanted the club to be Ridgeons League in five-six years and I got there in two.
“And from my point of view when we were youngsters in Debenham we had to get in a car and travel thirty miles to play a decent standard of football and now boys can just wander down the road.”
Some memorable highs under Aldis’ management of the Hornets included a fairytale FA Cup run in 2007, which saw them earn a plumb home tie with AFC Wimbledon in the Third Qualifying Round.
His first and last promotions came in dramatic circumstances with 10-0 (Ipswich Exiles) and 7-0 wins (March Town United) on the final day sending them up on goal difference.
Aldis said events in his personal life, with a fraud case hanging over him, had not influenced his decision to step down.
He also outlined how he believes the club is left in good health on and off the field to find their natural level in the First Division. Trevor Wardlaw, Ian Gedny and Peter Grant all played their part alongside Aldis, who revealed he was on the verge of calling it a day after leading them to the safety of 14th in their first season in the Premier Division.
But their second season at Step 5 of the no-League Pyramid, five leagues below the Football League, turned out to be a bridge too far, with Debenham finishing bottom after a number of long-term injuries, including to striker Stuart Jopling, took their toll.