Harleston boss eager to wrap up title

TITLE ASPIRATIONS: Adam Gusterson
TITLE ASPIRATIONS: Adam Gusterson

If Harleston Town are to become a Thurlow Nunn League First Division club from next season, manager Adam Gusterson is eager for them to make the move as champions.

The Recreation Ground-based club are trying to make the jump up to Step 6, having been invited to apply by the Thurlow Nunn League as part of restructuring plans for the 2018/19 campaign.

Providing they meet the necessary ground grading requirements, Harleston are likely to be promoted regardless of where they finish in the Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Premier Division.

However, with his team currently nine points clear of second-placed Mulbarton Wanderers, who have three games in hand, Gusterson is eager for Harleston to finish the job off with some silverware.

“We have to be honest as players and management and the fact is that as a group we have not won anything,” said Gusterson.

“Last year we reached the semi-final of the Norfolk Senior Cup, which is great, and we finished second in the league by only losing two games.

“But ultimately that is not enough because we want to be picking up trophies.

“There is a little bit of pressure on us to achieve that this season and if we can win the league, that will lead us into next season nicely.”

Harleston are also in the running for the Mummery Cup and tomorrow travel to Norwich CEYMS for a semi-final tie (2pm).

It is a competition that has not always been high on the agenda, but this time around Gusterson has eyes on the trophy.

“When we had our run in the Norfolk Senior Cup and the backlog that created as we went for the league, it was hard to get that balance and so we were a little more relaxed about the Mummery Cup,” he added.

“But when you reach the semi-final of any competition you want to go on and win it.

“It looks as though the final is going to be after we have completed our league fixtures, so we are going to give it a good go.”

Third-placed CEYMS hammered Harleston 6-1 in the league just before Christmas, but Gusterson’s men gained revenge during February’s reverse fixture as goals from Nathan Stone and Matt Howard sealed a 2-1.

The only player unavailable to Gusterson is Jimmy Morrissey, who is cup tied.