Harleston Town appoint new management team after appeal against relegation is unsuccessful
It is all change at Harleston Town, who have lost their appeal against relegation but have appointed a new management team.
Harleston enjoyed a successful first season in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, finishing second to Swaffham Town, as well as winning the First Division Knockout Cup.
However, news broke earlier this month that the club had been relegated back down to the Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Premier Division by the Football Association over ground grading issues, subject to an appeal.
That appeal has now been heard, with the game's governing body upholding their original decision, meaning Harleston will be a Step 7 club again next term.
Chairman Adam Mullin said: "We felt we had a brilliant case so it is disappointing to have lost it. The FA were very sympathetic to our situation but the rules are the rules.
"I had hoped there would be some mitigating circumstances because Harleston Town Council work for the whole town and not just the football club. The council have helped us a lot but it was not to be.
"We will continue to do the ground work and be inspected again by the Thurlow Nunn League in July with a view to be promoted at the end of next season, providing we finish high enough up the league."
And in another big change, Mullin has confirmed that Nicky Howell and Nathan Stone – both of whom played for the club last season – have agreed to form a management team going forward.
News of their appointment comes following the departure of head coach Leon Moore, who left by mutual consent earlier today.
Mullin said: "We needed people that know how competitive the Anglian Combination league is and people that are tied to the town.
"I could have managed the team myself but that would have always been a short term thing.
"We decided to look within and Nicky and Nathan were clearly the best candidates.
"From taking the team with Leon towards the end of last season I could see they were already managers in the dressing room with our captain Matt Howard. They are real leaders and it is great to have them in charge."
* For more on the new managerial team, see next week's Express print edition.