Fresh challenge for United Counties Premier Division bound Wisbech Town

Wisbech, red, will be playing in the UCL next season. Picture: Ian Burt

Wisbech, red, will be playing in the UCL next season. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Wisbech Town will begin a new era next season after being granted permission to join the United Counties Premier Division.

The FA yesterday announced they have accepted the Fenmen's request to make the 'sideways switch' after turning down the chance of promotion from Step Five league the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division. And Boston-based boss Steve Appleby is delighted about the news.

The Wisbech manager, who along with assistant Chris Dear looked set to leave the club if they were not moved into the UCL, said: 'I personally, like the players, see it as a fresh challenge. We wanted to go up but that's not been an option and it would have been very difficult to stay in the Thurlow Nunn. We'll set out to try and win the league, as we always do, but a top-five finish is our realistic aim. There's a lot of big sides in the UCL already and we'll have plenty of derbies so we know it's going to be a big challenge.'

Champions Holbeach United, big-spending Spalding and promoted AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Northampton Sileby Rangers are likely to be among next term's title-challenging pack.

Appleby expects 85pc of his squad to now remain but Chris Bacon, Matt Lunn (both moving away) and Joe Jackson, who looks set to return to Swaffham Town, are leaving the club.