Norfolk county golf team get some professional help
- Credit: Archant
The Norfolk Golf Union have sought professional help to aid the development of the county first team.
They have brought in the vastly experienced Michael Few to act as manager and coach rather than seeking a direct replacement for Kevin Webb, who stood down as captain at the end of last season.
After a number of lean years Norfolk had a promising 2017 campaign under Webb, only narrowly missing out on the Anglian League title, and county officials are hoping a new direction will lead to further improvements.
The new era gets under way at King's Lynn Golf Club on Sunday week when Few's side open the season with a fixture against Cambridgeshire - and the new man at the helm can't wait for the action to start.
'When the County got in touch I was only too happy to help,' said the 54-year-old Bawburgh professional, who had three years on the European Tour between 1986 and 1988. 'I can still remember my debut at the age of 14, and what an honour it was to represent my county, so it is really good to be involved again.
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'It will be my job to ensure the players are as well prepared as they can be for each match. That means making themselves available for a practice round as well as the match itself, I think that is vitally important.
'I will also be focusing on getting them to go through all the right routines on the day of the match so they are ready when they tee off.
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'It will be a mixture of managing the team and coaching. Obviously all the county players are good golfers, that goes without saying, but I will work with them and if I spot anything then hopefully I can help. It's all about improving the team. As far as I am concerned golf has been really good to me - and now it's nice to be able to put something back.'
Few is part of a team selection panel but will be relied upon for final selections and pairings.
'We are delighted to get him on board,' said Norfolk secretary Mike Devlin. 'He will travel to all first team representative matches and continue input throughout each one.'
It's a busy start for the new man, with the first county fixture being followed by the Eastern Counties Foursomes at Seacroft the following weekend (May 18-20).
King's Lynn youngster Kale Heath will make his Norfolk first team debut in the Anglian League opener.
Heath, who is stepping up from the seconds, is one of a number of youngsters in Michael Few's team, with Warren Bates and Tom Carding also aiming to impress.
The side also includes Eaton's George Morris, the former professional who has now returned to the amateur ranks.
Team: Warren Bates (Heacham Manor), Tom Carding (Great Yarmouth & Caister), Simon Clark (Great Yarmouth & Caister), James Flesher (Dunston Hall), Kale Heath (King's Lynn), George Morris (Eaton), Thomas Nudd (Royal Norwich), Iain Yule (King's Lynn).
The first tee is at 9 am for the foursomes and 1pm for the singles.
The second team are away to Cambridegshire II at Gog Magog.
Team: Jack Cullington (Bawburgh), Dylan Green (Costessey Park), Jake Keeley (Bawburgh), Richard Lindley (Fakenham), Aiden Tanner (Costessey Park), Kevin Webb (Costessey Park), Josh Weeds (Bawburgh), Richard Wilson (Dereham).