Harleston boss targets the title
Harleston Town boss Adam Gusterson is hoping to go one better this season and deliver the club its first Anglian Combination League top flight title.
Town were pipped to the crown by Spixworth on the final day of last season, with Gusterson now bidding to end the club’s wait for a first Premier Division title in the newly-sponsored Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination League in 2017/18.
A strong summer of recruitment has seen the Harleston chief keep hold of the majority of last season’s squad, including leading goalscorers Nathan Russell and Scott Roberts, who scored 50 goals between them last time out.
And ahead of taking on Mulbarton Wanderers in the Don Frost Cup at The Norwich FDC on Monday (7.15pm), Gusterson admits the target is to succeed Spixworth as Premier Division champions.
“The target for us is to try and win the league,” he said.
“That’s our aim. We’d like to compete on all fronts, but if we win the league and do nothing else, after finishing second last season, that is the natural progression.
“We’re happy with the players we’ve brought in over the summer, and we’ve retained the majority of everyone from last season.
“There’s been quite a bit of interest in our players from other clubs, but we’ve managed to keep everyone together, which we’re very happy to have done.”
Joining last season’s Premier Division runner-ups for the upcoming campaign are strikers Adam Burroughs and Nathan Stone, from Diss Town and Kirkley & Pakefield, and Spixworth goalkeeper Nathan Pauling.
With champions Spixworth having moved up to the Thurlow Nunn League (as Norwich CBS), Gusterson believes a similar points target to what Town accrued last season should be enough to secure them the title this time round.
Harleston finished on 80 points last season, a total which would have seen them finish top of the table in the previous 11 campaigns.
“We’ll treat this season as a completely new season,” Gusterson said. “We know it’s going to be a tough season.
“If we have the same record as last time there won’t be any team with a better record next season.
“If we can do the same as what we did last season then we should win it.”
Harleston begin their Premier Division fixtures at home to Wroxham Reserves a week tomorrow (2.30pm).