Framlingham preparing to emerge from the shadows

UPWARD STEP: Mel Aldis is ready to face some local rivals following Framlingham Towns promotion.

UPWARD STEP: Mel Aldis is ready to face some local rivals following Framlingham Towns promotion.

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Framlingham Town manager Mel Aldis is excited by the prospect of some local derbies in next year’s Thurlow Nunn League First Division.

Aldis’ men finished fifth last term in what was their first season back in the Senior Division of the Suffolk & Ipswich League.

However, the promotion door was left ajar for Fram because the four sides that finished above them - Crane Sports, Achilles, East Bergholt United and Bramford United - do not have the adequate facilities to make the jump.

In contrast, while there remains a few odd jobs still left to complete, Fram’s Badingham Road ground has passed the formal inspection.

It means that Aldis and his players are now gearing up for an assault on a league that contains some of their well established neighbours.

“There are some big names and clubs playing at that level,” said the experienced boss.

“We have the likes of Woodbridge, Stowmarket and Debenham around us, while Diss are the big club down the road.

“It is fair to say we have been in their shadows for a long while, but now we are on a level playing field.

“We will have plenty of derbies to play and that is something we will be looking to embrace.

“It is going to take a lot more work from us all, but this is what we want.”

Following confirmation of the elevation, Aldis has since switched his focus to bolstering the ranks in East Suffolk.

While he believes that there is already sufficient quality within the squad to achieve the ultimate target of consolidation during 2016-17, Aldis conceded that some extra experience would be welcome.

“The major aim is to one day play in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, but I have to be realistic,” he added.

“Next season we have to make sure we do enough to be in the same league the following year.

“The boys have been brilliant for me and I have no qualms about keeping any of them.

“At the same time, I am not naive. We need that bit of experience that knows all about a cold Tuesday night out in Cambridgeshire.”

Fram are one of four clubs that have been added to the division in a re-jig along with Wisbech St Mary, Holland FC and Coggeshall United.

Meanwhile, Thetford Town and Swaffham Town have been granted Premier Division reprieves, which means that only Whitton United were relegated.

Top-flight champions Norwich United have had their place in the Ryman League Division One North confirmed, where they will join Wroxham.

The Yachtsman finished in a relegation place and looked set for a return to the Eastern Counties League, but they have since been spared.