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Harleston Town in a positive place on and off the pitch




It is an exciting time for all those of a Harleston Town persuasion.

While on the pitch the 2020/21 playing squad is starting to take shape after a number of players re-committed, off it the club has also taken a giant stride with the installation of floodlight columns.

The absence of lighting was one of the reasons as to why the Football Association relegated Harleston from the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North at the end of the 2018/19 season, with the governing body stating the demotion was ‘due to failure to achieve required ground grading’ for Step 6 football.

MDEP-15-10-2016-060 Football Harleston v Great YarmouthNick Howell. (38017914)
MDEP-15-10-2016-060 Football Harleston v Great YarmouthNick Howell. (38017914)

However, the Recreation Ground is now up to scratch, and it is not just the first team that will benefit.

“It is a big thing and clearly the first team are important, but just as important are the youth players,” said chairman Adam Mullin.

“At the moment younger players in the town have nowhere to train in the evenings, so parents are having to put themselves out on Saturday mornings.

Football action from Harleston Town v Long Stratton..Spencer Cawcutt (H) and Sam Fisher (LS) ..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (38017945)
Football action from Harleston Town v Long Stratton..Spencer Cawcutt (H) and Sam Fisher (LS) ..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (38017945)

“This gives them somewhere to train all year round and that has been our major focus, just as much as the club one day returning to the Thurlow Nunn League.

“We have some great young talents at Harleston, all the way down to the under-7s.

“Hopefully now that we have the lights it opens up the pathway through the age groups.”

Meanwhile, joint-manger Nicky Howell is pleased to have seen six members of last season’s squad agree to return, while winger Connor Delaney has rejoined the club from Norwich CBS.

Football action from Harleston Town v Fakenham Town - Nathan Russell..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (38018030)
Football action from Harleston Town v Fakenham Town - Nathan Russell..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (38018030)

Nathan Russell, Nathan Stone, Sam Borrer, Spencer Cawcutt, Mark Shadrack and Ollie Ebbage are the players in question, with Howell confident others will follow suit in the near future.

“Obviously there is no start date for the season, but it is good to start building the squad,” he said.

“These are important players and hopefully most of the others should follow during the next few days.”

The return of Borrer is a particular coup for the club given that there was plenty of higher-league interest in the former Dereham Town player.

25/01/2020. Harleston, UK. ..Football action from Harleston v Wroxham - Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final - Borrer..Photo by Mark Bullimore. (38017891)
25/01/2020. Harleston, UK. ..Football action from Harleston v Wroxham - Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final - Borrer..Photo by Mark Bullimore. (38017891)

Howell added: “Sam has been brilliant for us and we are aware of how lucky we are to have him at Harleston.

“There was at least two or three clubs from a higher level who contacted us about him, but he has recently moved more local to the area and is happy playing for us.

“He was our Player of the Year last season and that is why we were keen to get him sorted first. Hopefully if other players see he is staying that shows we are building a really competitive squad.”

Howell also revealed that discussions have been ongoing with potential new additions, although he does not expect to make more than three or four signings.


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