Dersingham Rovers take the ‘heart-wrenching’ decision to call it a day

Anglian Combination side, Dersingham Rovers, have folded. Picture: Ian Burt

Anglian Combination side, Dersingham Rovers, have folded. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Dersingham Rovers have taken the 'heart-wrenching' decision to fold after struggling to attract players to play in the Anglian Combination League.

Rovers have found it tough in recent seasons and dropped out of senior football over the summer but decided to keep a team going in Division Five North of the Anglian Combination.

However, due to lack of player interest and finding it difficult to raise a side, the decision has been made to fold after 127 years in existence.

'We had a committee meeting last night (Monday) and we decided to say enough is enough,' said chairman Colin English. 'It's been a real uphill battle. We just thought rather than being fined every week for being unable to raise a side we decided that we had to make the decision.

'It's heart-wrenching and we're all gutted but that's the way local football has gone.

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'I can't see it coming back – I just don't think the interest is there, especially in the Anglian Combination - a lot of lads do not like the travel involved.'

English confirmed that the youth section of the club will keep going but fears that Dersingham's demise is becoming a common theme for village football sides across the country.

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'We just seemed to find it hard to get players and I think it's a trend that's not just affecting our club,' he added. 'It seems the attitudes of youngsters has changed over the years - whether they can't be bothered now, I don't know.

'Youth football appears to be remaining relatively strong but these lads seem to get to 16 and then lose interest. Perhaps they are playing too much football, too early.'

Dersingham have fulfilled just two fixtures this season, losing to UEA Reserves 11-0 and Mundford Reserves 5-2. Hellesdon Reserves were awarded victory last month after Rovers couldn't raise a side but Anglian Combination secretary Chris McCullough confirmed all these results will now be deleted.

'It's sad to see another club fold,' said McCullough. 'I knew they had been struggling for the last few years and I know that several other clubs are also finding it difficult.

'People's habits are changing - people have other things to do on a Saturday and it's an issue.'

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