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Long Stratton's new joint managers aiming to deliver success



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Damian Hilton and Steve Race have been appointed the new joint managers of Long Stratton.

The duo, who had been in charge of the club’s reserve side, have taken over from Adam Burroughs after he announced his departure following the conclusion of the 2021/22 campaign.

Hilton and Race – both well known figures in the local area – have enjoyed a successful spell as bosses of the second string, guiding them to Division Two of the Fosters Solicitors Anglian Combination League for the first time ever.

Steve Race, pictured with a trophy from his successful Sunday side, is the new joint manager of Long Stratton. Picture: Cyan Fullbrook
Steve Race, pictured with a trophy from his successful Sunday side, is the new joint manager of Long Stratton. Picture: Cyan Fullbrook

And Race, who will retain his role as manager of Stratton’s successful Sunday side, is targeting more good times at the first team’s helm.

He said: “We’ve done the job with the reserves and this is like a natural progression. The chairman came to us and we were happy to listen to what he had to say.

“It’s an exciting time because the club is ambitious and in the future – I’m not sure how long away it will be – wants to be pushing for promotion.

Damian Hilton, pictured playing for Needham Market, has taken joint charge with Steve Race
Damian Hilton, pictured playing for Needham Market, has taken joint charge with Steve Race

“We’ve got a great facility developing at the club and that will continue.

“There has been a lot of success recently with local lads on a Sunday and now we want the Saturday team to enjoy a bit of that.”

Race is particularly pleased to have taken the job alongside his good friend.

After starting out on the books at Norwich City, Hilton has gone on to gain vast experience playing and managing the likes of Lowestoft Town, Wroxham, Needham Market and Norwich United.

Race said: “There is no better candidate than Damian and we work well together. Damian is a tremendous coach. He’s dealt with top players and worked under some top coaches.

“We’re both local lads. My son plays for the team and so does Damian’s. There is a big youth set-up at the club and I think it does mean more when you have family involved.”

The new management pair are keen to retain the services of last season’s squad – and that includes James Bemrose.

The free-scoring striker had stints at Gorleston and Diss Town in the Thurlow Nunn League in 2021/22, but ended up back with his hometown club, scoring nine times from 10 appearances.

Race is anticipating plenty of interest in the striker’s signature, but Stratton will be throwing their hat into the ring.

“Other clubs will no doubt come in with big offers,” said Race.

“I wouldn’t say I’m confident or hopeful, but James is one of the first we’ll be looking to retain. He’s a good lad who loves playing for the club."



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