Gorleston’s woe as ex-boss returns to raid old club

Happier days at Gorleston. Picture: Bill Smith.

Happier days at Gorleston. Picture: Bill Smith.

Former Gorleston boss Stewart Larter has been accused of decimating the side he guided to last season's Norfolk Senior Cup success.

Goalkeeper Elliot Pride, captain Andy Howell, David Hinton, Jack Garrod and goal-machine striker Christy Finch have already followed former boss Larter across the county to Wroxham. And returning Greens manager Richard Daniels concedes that Josh Armes, Nathan Stone and Steve Taylor are also likely to swap Emerald Park for Trafford Park in the search for higher-level football.

On top of that Larter's assistant during his time at Gorleston, former Norwich City player Cedric Anselin, has also followed him to Trafford Park.

Larter's raiding of the outfit he only left last month has stunned many across Norfolk's non-league scene – apart from the man he used to work with on the east coast. Daniels, who was joint boss with Larter before he stepped down to allow his colleague to take the reins, said: 'Stewart has spoken to the whole squad. I expect at least three more to go. To be honest, I'm not stunned though.

'Gorleston withdrew their Ryman League application and it was quite evident that Wroxham were going to go for Larts.

'I'm pleased these players are being given a chance to play in the Ryman League. I wish them all the best and hope they make it. But from my point of view a job that was tough is now going to be even tougher. However, in the last 24 to 48 hours there's a lot of Gorleston lads that still want to play for this club, or come back to it, and that's given us a lift.

'If Stewart would have taken three or four players I would have understood it. He's got a job to do, and I've got no problem with him. I just don't – and a lot of managers have told me the same – understand how he can say he's left the club in a good place and then come back two days later and take the whole squad away.'

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Chris Sandford and Keegan Middleton have decided to remain with the Greens. They will be joined by Luke Goreham (Acle), John Bell (Catfield), Kyle Howell (Yarmouth), Eddie Thomson (also assistant) and Thomas Daniels next term. The Greens' boss, nicknamed Lugsy, says he expects to announce more new arrivals in the near future as the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division outfit look to rebuild.

Chairman Alan Gordon said: 'I'm not saying Stewart didn't take the club on but he inherited a good team.

'He's a good manager and a good lad. But I'm totally disappointed in him as a person. I expected him to take a few but he's completely decimated us. We'll adopt a siege mentality and sign more local players and give our youngsters a chance. We want guys who have our club at heart so we can bring the Gorleston feel back.'

Wroxham, who play one level above the Greens, only stayed in Ryman Division One North thanks to a relegation reprieve. Had they have gone down they'd have played in the same league as Gorleston.