Mixed news on eve of season

EVENING NEWS NORWICH SUNDAY LEAGUE: Another season upon us, and we have already had setbacks. Let's start with the good news that the Norwich Evening News and the Pink Un are once again sponsoring us.

Another season upon us, and we have already had setbacks. Let's start with the good news that the Norwich Evening News and the Pink Un are once again sponsoring us. We are very grateful for their support, and the other good news is that come December we will be celebrating 50 years of Sunday football.

What an achievement for all concerned, especially for our president Ray Kiddell, vice-president Roy Tacon and myself, who were there from the start. We are proud of what we have done, supported by a good bunch of officials and committee members.

Now for the bad news. Without a ball being kicked we have already lost six clubs. Two from Division 1A, Winstone Rovers and Felthorpe; Division 1B Taverham first; Division Two Earlham Bridges and Freemasons Arms, and finally Division 4B Mundesley.

Earlham Bridges withdrew just after the annual meeting, followed by Winstone Rovers and Freemasons Arms. All it seems were going to have problems raising a side for their coming season.

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Mundesley was a different story. The officials felt a bad record of discipline was met with heavy fines from the Norfolk County FA and the officials running the club Saturday and Sunday teams were not prepared to support running a side with such a poor record as their Sunday team.

At the end of July Taverham decided to withdraw their senior side. They had been led to believe, following a fairly well-attended players' meeting by senior players prior to their annual meeting last June, that all was well and that one player in particular would bring in four or five new players.

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This had not materialised and Dave Wilson was not continuing as manager.

That doesn't surprise me at all. So often, if things go wrong the manager just packs it in as simply as that. Secretary Ray Watling and someone else were prepared to take on the team but unfortunately found that the players Ray had contacted had either already signed for other clubs, had taken up golf or fishing or were simply not interested.

Taverham Reserves will continue to run, but become Taverham seniors in Division 4B. What a sad business.

Finally, earlier this month Felthorpe felt they could not continue; a club which I'm told has been running for on 50 years, a good number of that in the Sunday League.

It was not down to lack of players but people to run the club, both secretary Tom Harwood and previous secretary Gavin Johnson felt they could not give time to the club and the duties in running a club, including marking the pitch and putting nets up etc.

They made every effort to get players involved but they just did not want to know. They have been an excellent club, well trained and a good sporting side throughout their time in the Sunday. They will certainly be missed, so not good reading before the season starts on August 31.

From the league's annual meeting the following were elected: Vice-president and life member Jimmy Gee and vice-president Roy Tacon.

Due to the sad loss of chairman Brian Burrell, who died towards the end of March, Paul Ballard moved up from being vice-chairman to take the chairmanship. Ben Casey was voted in as vice-chairman along with the position he had already held assistant secretary. General secretary/treasurer is once again Alan Williams, followed by Bernie Hardiman as fixture secretary. Will Jeffery continues as registration secretary after taking over that position last January when Ray Watling resigned.

Tom Ireland and Nick Everett once again continue as committee members. Two new committee members voted in; Hainford YCOB secretary Steve Brown and Old Catton secretary Richard Tolliday. Referees' representative as before, Dennis O'Brien. The referees appointments secretary is a county FA appointment, Nigel Evans.

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