Crown Fire Central and South Norfolk League preview

The league programme gets underway on Saturday, 20 August with a fairly full programme of league fixtures and the first round of the Birds Sport & Outdoor Benevolent Cup, the league's equivalent of the Cup Winners Cup.

The draw has produced some interesting matches with the pick of the action likely to be the all First Division tie between the league champions, Bridgham United and Dereham Town A who finished in third place just four points behind Bridgham.

The First Division runners-up Thetford Rovers Reserves travel to the Division Three champions Thurton & Ashby. The Division Four champions Diss Town A entertain Yaxham while Division Two champions Feltwell United will entertain the Primary League Cup winners Castle Acre Swifts.

With seven new teams joining the league this season, competition is likely to be fierce in all four divisions with the highest ever number of competing teams. Division One has an established look about it with only Cranworth and Hingham Athletic having left and Cockers having been relegated to Division Two.

Based on last season, Bridgham United, Dereham Town A, Thetford Rovers Reserves, Shipdham and Gressenhall should all be there or thereabouts. Of the others, Swaffham Town A and Tacolneston will be looking to improve on their creditable mid-table performances from last year. Narborough and Rockland United will both be hoping for better things this season.


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Of the promoted teams, Feltwell United and Northwold S&SC will have to be considered real contenders given their impressive performances last season and both Morley Village and Shropham United are more than capable of getting good results and may well make a noticeable impact in the top division.

Division Two will produce the usual tight competition and last season's teams who missed out on promotion have to be among the favourites to be there or thereabouts come next May. Of these, Castle Acre Swifts, Hethersett Athletic and Nostro look the most likely.

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Several of the mid-table teams are capable of having a good season and this group is likely to include Necton, Saham Toney Reserves and Yaxham. Of the promoted teams, Thurton & Ashby, North Elmham and Breckland Wanderers ought to do well given their records from last season and Methwold Rovers and Gressenhall Reserves should be able to make a serious impact if they can get to grips quickly with life in the higher Division Two.

The competition in Division Three is likely to be just as tight with sixteen teams competing and seven from Division Four having been promoted. Of last season's teams, Bawdeswell, Marham Wanderers and Wendling will look to make an impact. Division Four champions Diss Town A and runners-up Mulbarton Wanderers Reserves will both be looking to continue their good form from last year and the other promoted teams, Tugas United, Rampant Horse, Scarning United, Mattishall A and Colkirk all look capable of mounting a serious challenge for honours.

Division Four is often dominated by the newly elected teams and this year may prove to be no exception with so many of the new teams joining the league making their debut in this division. There will also be sixteen teams competing for honours. Of the new teams, the A team from Watton United A and Methwold United, Litcham and Walsingham United should make an impression.

Of the new reserve teams, Castle Acre Swifts, Methwold Rovers and Yaxham are all based on well established clubs and could do well.

Of last year's Division Four teams, Beetley United, Nostro Reserves, Weasenham Wanderers, Tacolneston Reserves and North Elmham Reserves will all aim to improve on last season's finishing positions and both Shropham United Reserves and Dereham Cockers United will be hoping for better seasons this time around to avoid finishing in one of the re-election places.

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