Collective effort behind Castlemen’s promotion
For a number of years, Framlingham Town yo-yoed between the Senior Division and Division One of the Touchline Suffolk & Ipswich League.
But now the Castlemen have their eyes fixed on a first ever campaign at Step 5 after their promotion to the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division was confirmed on Wednesday night.
Framlingham — in just their second campaign at Thurlow Nunn League First Division level — needed just two points from their last four games to seal a historic promotion.
And they did it in style, securing a 4-1 win at Wisbech St Mary — a result that followed up Saturday’s 5-0 triumph on the road at neighbouring Debenham LC.
In Danny Smith Framlingham have had one of the division’s most clinical marksman, while 33 goals against gives them the best defensive record in the First Division.
Nevertheless, manager Mel Aldis, who has been in charge for seven years, was keen to stress the club’s latest success has been very much a collective effort.
“The defence has been tight and you cannot argue with Danny’s goals,” said Aldis.
“But all of our strikers have contributed and I have never seen a midfield work as hard as ours have this season.
“We have only really used a squad of 16 all season, but when the lads from the reserves and A team have played, they really stepped up.
“We have had a never-say-die attitude, which we highlighted at Swaffham (Framlingham’s closest rivals for promotion).
“We were 1-0 down in the 89th minute and our captain Jim Mayhew scored twice to win us the game. He has been fantastic and is a real leader.”
Aldis is keen to enjoy Framlingham’s three remaining games —starting with Little Oakley at home on Saturday (3pm) — before switching his focus to playing a level higher next term.
Nevertheless, he is confident the club is in a good position on and off the pitch to more than hold their own in the Premier Division.
“There will be a bit more pressure on us at a level higher because there is relegation from that division, but I believe we have enough to do well,” he added.
“Our first aim has to be survival and reaching whatever the magic number of points will be. After that we can start to set other targets.
“Everyone at the club — people who have been there years — are delighted and they really deserve this.”
On Tuesday Framlingham return to action at Holland FC (7.45pm).