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East Harling taking big strides off the pitch

With the national lockdown preventing East Harling from taking to the pitch, the club have been busy ensuring they are improving off it.

A new simplistic badge – which includes the traditional lamb and church – has been designed and will be implemented on a fresh playing kit in time for the 2021/22 campaign.

Meanwhile, manager Stacey Lawrence has managed to raise the £2,000 needed for the club to purchase a Veo sports camera.

East Harling manager Stacey Lawrence. Picture: Mark Bullimore
East Harling manager Stacey Lawrence. Picture: Mark Bullimore

This will allow Harling to further enhance what they produce via their social media channels, as well as providing Lawrence with the technology to watch back his side’s performances.

Lawrence, who last year racked up his 200th game in charge of the Greens, said: “Football badges in general are becoming less complicated and I’d noticed with ours, when they were printed on certain garments it looked odd.

“The lamb had to stay and, of course, it was always going to be green and white, but we felt it was time to simplify things a little bit.

East Harling now have video facility to watch back their matches. Picture: Mark Bullimore
East Harling now have video facility to watch back their matches. Picture: Mark Bullimore

“We see that as a big stride for the club, as is getting the Veo video sorted.

“We managed to raise the money in just a couple of days and it will give us so much.

“We’ll be able to put the highlights and our goals on social media, which the players will love. It will also be good for training purposes. If we concede goals from a set piece or something like that, we can see where we are going wrong.

“All of it keeps us improving. If you are doing well off the pitch, I’d like to think that attracts players to the club and helps to make you better on the pitch.

“We are always looking to improve as a club and it’s important we don’t get left behind.”

Unfortunately, hopes of completing the current campaign look slim, with non-elite football looking like being suspended until the start of March, at the earliest.

Lawrence’s men had enjoyed a positive start to the term, winning half of their 12 matches to sit fifth in the Anglian Combination Division One table – just three points adrift of neighbouring Attleborough Town in third.

Lawrence said: “We’ve had some amazing results and really showed people what we can do.

“We’ve beaten sides above us in Aylsham and Attleborough, and neither of those was a fluke.

“We’ve switched things up a little bit and I think that’s helped. I’ve had to break away from my principals a little bit and find a way to get the best players in the team, rather than sticking to a formation and putting players into it.

“I think that’s probably it for the season. It’s frustrating because we were going along well but you’ve got to accept there are bigger things going on at the moment.

“The way I’m feeling now, if you offered me a returned in July with a full season ahead and none of the training restrictions, I’d take that.”

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