Locksley enjoy life on the bright side

Locksley Athletic, winners of the Evening News Copy IT Norwich Sunday League Sporting Award for Febr

Locksley Athletic, winners of the Evening News Copy IT Norwich Sunday League Sporting Award for February and March. Back, left to right: Jason MacDonald, Gary Ramage, Lee Walker, Alex Godfrey, Marc Gee, Ben Casey (league secretary) Mark Towler (goalkeeper), Ollie Whitmore, Richard Mould, Luke Perry, Glenn Howard. Front: Ryan Higgins, Jamie Livie, Shaun Higgins, Jon Barnett, Luke Goffin. - Credit: Archant

One-time whipping boys Locksley Athletic are seeing a brighter side of life after picking up the latest Evening News Copy IT Norwich Sunday League Sporting Award.

The side, formed from players from the Lakenham and Tuckswood areas, had a baptism of fire when they joined the Norwich Sunday Friendly League in 2010.

But despite some fearful batterings which saw them concede over 100 goals in their first season, they refused to throw in the towel. And their sunny outlook was rewarded when Evening News Copy IT Norwich Sunday League secretary Ben Casey presented the league’s sportmanship award for February and March to them. “We are really proud to have won it because it is voted for by other teams. It gives us an indication that we are playing our football the right way,” said manager Jason Macdonald.

He added: “Our first season didn’t go very well. We actually let in 126 goals in not very many games. We were a little bit disappointed but it was our first season and none of us had played together before. We knew that with a bit of hard work and structured training sessions that we could move on.”

After that disastrous first season, when the team managed to win only three games and finished bottom, results improved, giving the side the strength to carry on. “Last year we finished fourth and that gave us the confidence to apply to join the Evening News Norwich Sunday League.”

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But it was not all a bed of roses. “When we lost our first five games we thought we were slipping back to the previous level but we knuckled down, got ourselves a couple more players and with one game to play have got up to fourth place.”

Locksley, who play home matches at Hewett School, celebrated receiving the award by beating Red Lion 4-0 in their penultimate Division 4b match, with Luke Perry’s 35-yard screamer the pick of the goals.

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Ryan Higgins is the leading scorer with 10 goals, while in midfielder John Barnett, they have a player with a Norwich City youth level pedigree. “The Sporting Award has put a smile on everyone’s faces,” commented MacDonald.

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