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Over 100 teams and 1,400 players begin Norwich and District Sunday League season

06:30 10 September 2015

AFC Wanderers (blue) v Schoolhouse football action at Eaton Park. Sam Watts scoring the opening goal of the game. See today

AFC Wanderers (blue) v Schoolhouse football action at Eaton Park. Sam Watts scoring the opening goal of the game. See today's Norwich Evening News for more photos from the match. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

Playing football on a Sunday morning may come with a host of challenges nowadays but the Norwich and District Sunday League is still going strong for the new season.

Competitive action got under way at the weekend, with 104 teams playing in seven senior leagues and three under-19 divisions.

League secretary Ben Casey realises there are more financial and time constraints for players in 2015 but feels the league is still comfortably holding its own.

“I keep banging the drum that we are one of, if not the, biggest in England and with Norwich actually being quite a small city, that is no mean feat,” Casey said.

“We had over 1,700 players registered last season. I don’t know the figures for this year yet because some teams are still getting sorted but it will be above 1,400 to 1,500 no problem at all.

“Times have changed, big time from my playing days. There’s so much to do nowadays, things are 24/7. When I used to go in the pub after a game on a Sunday, we’d know that the pub would be shut at 2pm, and people wouldn’t be stumbling home at three in the morning on Saturday night as well.

“People are working all the time as well, so some people have to work when they want to be playing. The world has changed.

“But this will be our 57th season, so we must still be doing something right, we’ve still got 104 teams.”

Although the league has lost six teams since its AGM, Casey has high hopes for the new campaign.

“I’d say the Premier Division is probably as strong as it has been for many years,” he added. “Certainly the four teams that have come up have enhanced it. So we’re feeling positive.”

For a full round-up of the first round of results, see today’s Norwich Evening News.

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