New bosses at Thetford and Swaffham relishing derby clash

Jack Defty, pictured during Swaffham's surprise 4-3 home loss to Acle United in the Norfolk Senior C

Jack Defty, pictured during Swaffham's surprise 4-3 home loss to Acle United in the Norfolk Senior Cup last weekend, could be up against one of his former King's Lynn team-mates today, Thetford boss Danny White. Picture: Eddie Deane - Credit: Eddie Deane

Two new regimes are preparing for derby battle this afternoon as Swaffham make the short trip to Thetford.

The hosts are a month into the reign of former King's Lynn midfielder Danny White and Swaffham are still adjusting to life after long-serving boss Paul Hunt stepped down in September.

Club stalwart Matt Parkinson and goalkeeping coach Scott Lumsden subsequently stepped up as joint managers and feel they are making good progress, despite losing seven of their 11 matches in charge since winning 3-1 at home against Thetford in their first match.

'The players have been outstanding, really good, working hard in training and in their application in games, albeit recent results haven't gone for us,' said Parkinson, who is taking his first steps into management at just 25 years old.

'Paul (Hunt) had a great influence for five years and did really well so it's not so much steadying the ship but carrying on his good work.'

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Norwich-born Lumsden played as a goalkeeper in Lowland League football in Scotland and was capped once for the national amateur team before a knee injury ended his playing career.

He turns 35 today and is hoping for a good birthday, adding: 'It's going to be a tough game. I saw them for the first time in the FA Cup (at Swaffham in the extra-preliminary round in September) which was disappointing for us because we were 4-0 down at half-time, albeit we pulled two back in the second half. Then in our first game as interim managers the boys played really well and we came out 3-1 winners so it's going to be tough.

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'If we have the right attitude and application then I see no reason why we can't go there and get a result and hopefully build a bit of momentum.'

The Brecklanders welcome their local rivals with a rejuvenated attitude as well though, after two wins and a draw in White's first six games.

'When I first took over there was a massive mountain to climb because we had to play Stanway, Norwich United and Felixstowe, who are all top-four sides, so it was always going to be difficult,' White said.

'But the lads have been different class, they've listened, worked hard in training, taken everything on board and we're starting to look better.'

Among the players to join Thetford recently are young full-back Danny Rust, from Wroxham, and experienced centre-back Darren Judge, from Mildenhall.

White, 32, who has taken up management due to a health scare, added: 'It will be a tough one because we are both in and around the same position in disappointing positions. But we know all about their attacking threat. If my old mate Jack Defty plays then we know he is a massive threat. If he plays, I might just have to get my boots on!

'But I think a lot of it will come down to who is best prepared and has the best mentality on the day, and who wants it more.'


Thurlow Nunn League

Premier Division: Hadleigh Utd v Stanway Rvrs, Haverhill Rvrs v Brantham Ath, Kirkley & Pakefield v Godmanchester Rvrs, Long Melford v FC Clacton, Newmarket Tn v Whitton Utd, Thetford Tn v Swaffham Tn, Walsham le Willows v Saffron Walden Tn.

First Division: Dereham Tn Res v Halstead Tn, Diss Tn v Ely City, Downham Tn v Wivenhoe Tn, Great Yarmouth Tn v Braintree Tn Res, Leiston Res v Team Bury, March Tn Utd v Kings Lynn Tn Res, Stowmarket Tn v Needham Market Res.

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