Spixworth set sights on Ridgeons League

Village side Spixworth United may have been embroiled in a relegation scrap for much of the season but their chairman has revealed a bold plan to climb the football pyramid system.

Village side Spixworth United may have been embroiled in a relegation scrap for much of the season but their chairman has revealed a bold plan to climb the football pyramid system.

Ridgeons League football within the next five years is the ambitious goal for the Spixworth side who, after a relegation scare have clawed their way towards mid-table respectability with a final flourish in the Anglian Combination Premier Division.

Chairman David Wilson is upbeat about the future prospects as a memorable season draws to a close. The campaign saw the unheralded outfit advance into the quarter-finals of the Norfolk Senior Cup before their giantkilling exploits were ended by a 3-1 defeat by Cromer - just two steps away from a dream Carrow Road final date. A 4-2 win over Ridgeons League sides Thetford and a 2-0 win over King's Lynn Reserves had highlighted the team's ability to punch well above their weight.

Wilson said: “We haven't got any real stars but we've got a good little side - a mixture of youth and experience.”

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He added: “The aim is to try and get into the Ridgeons League within the next five years and we are trying to get some more land in the area so we can develop it.

“There are one or two spaces in Spixworth that we are looking into. I know it's going to cost a lot of money but that's the aim. You have got to go forward.”

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Wilson, who took the Spixworth helm last September having spent 40 years with Taverham explained the thinking behind stepping up to a higher league.

“It was a club feeling really. We want to get as far as we can. The next step for us is the Ridgeons.

“All clubs have got to have a target otherwise things get mundane and you just end up jogging along.”

Spixworth's teams are spearheaded by the Anglian Combination Premier Division side, formerly the Norwich Union outfit which relocated to Crostwick Lane, via Dussindale after a spell as AFC Norwich, after losing its city home when Pinebanks was put up for sale.

The team is managed by Middy Brown, assisted by Glenn Pitcher.

The well-travelled Brown, 53, who lives in the village, enjoyed Sterry Cup success with Blofield and has managed a string of clubs including Ridgeons League Norwich United with Steve Rushbrooke. He said stepping up was no pipedream. “Hopefully next season we will be looking to do a lot more on the field. We have got a good, solid base of players, with some good youths in the reserves.”

Stepping up would be a fitting reward for the loyalty of players such as club captain Ben Gowing, Lee Askew and Luke Humphries and the sterling service behind the scenes of people such as Maurice Gowing.

“I don't see any reason why we can't do it if we can get the backing and finances. I don't think there is any difference in the standard between the Anglian Combination Premier Division and Division One of the Ridgeons League.

“It's more a question of finances and facilities.”

The club also has a reserve side managed by Andy Whatmore in the Anglian Combination Division Four, two sides in the Evening News Norwich Sunday League, a side in the Norfolk and Suffolk Veterans League and a crop of youth teams.

“The kids play at Buxton and we want to bring them home when we have found somewhere - the hunt is on,” said Wilson.

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