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Harleston Town seeking an immediate return to the Thurlow Nunn League

Joint manager Nicky Howell has revealed that Harleston Town are targeting an immediate return to the Thurlow Nunn League set-up.

In what was their first ever campaign at Step 6 last term, Harleston flourished, finishing second in the First Division North and winning the Knockout Cup.

However, they were subsequently relegated by the Football Association over ground grading issues and are now facing up to the prospect of a campaign in the Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Premier Division.

Nicky Howell
Nicky Howell

It is a league that Harleston won in 2017/18, and Howell is hoping to repeat that trick ahead of Tuesday night’s opening game at home against Beccles Town (6.30pm).

“We want to go straight back up and all of the players have been told that,” said Howell, who was appointed earlier this summer alongside Nathan Stone.

“This is not the division the club wants to be in, so now it is down to us to get back up as soon as we can.

“It will not be easy – we know it is a tough league, one that we have been at the top of for the last four or five years.

“We know what it takes to be competitive at that level and if we can get off to a good start that will help settle things down.”

Like his fellow boss Stone, Howell has signed playing forms for the forthcoming campaign, having featured in a handful of the pre-season friendlies.

However, as the campaign progresses the winger is expecting to take up more of a touchline role, with Stone likely to lead the attack after his 28-goal haul last term.

“Nathan will probably start most games because he is going to be a major goal threat again,” added Howell.

“I will keep myself fit and play when I am needed, but I think you often need to have someone on the sidelines that can get an overall view of the game. I am happy to take on that role instead of playing every week.”

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