Norfolk Junior Cup winning joint-managers quit Reffley Royals after summer of discontent

Norfolk Junior Cup winning joint-managers Robbie Back and Marc Curson stunned the grassroots football scene in West Norfolk this week by leaving Reffley Royals.

Almost three months after the champagne flowed at Carrow Road following their greatest Royals' triumph yet, Back and 'Curly' Curson decided to call it a day.

The pair announced they had resigned on Monday after two years at the helm together. And Back – who had guided the North West Norfolk League giants to eight trophies in four years, including May's county cup victory over Harleston Town – said a host of incidents across the summer had eventually taken their toll on him.

The former Royals boss said: 'It wasn't an easy decision to make, but when I made it I almost felt relieved. It seemed like a big weight had gone from my shoulders.

'Since we won the Junior Cup, Curly and I said we should move forward and progress. We'd talked about getting the Charter Standard award and possibly taking us into the Anglian Combination.

'But while thinking winning the trophy would have had a positive effect, it's had a negative one. Two players under the age of 30 have decided to retire from Saturday football – which I couldn't get my head round.

'Then two more joined our local rivals Lynn North End, which hurt even more. If they wanted to play a higher standard of football I'd have accepted it, but I just couldn't get it.

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'It felt like another kick in the teeth, especially after Curly had turned down a really good job to stay with us. Seven or eight lads stayed loyal to the end and I'd like to thank them, but it was a lack of commitment that had started to worry me.

'I'd started to fall out of love with it all. I was losing sleep over it. Now I just want a break from football. I'll spend some time with my family, watch Lynn, and won't rush back.

'I'm proud of what we achieved. I wish those that stay good luck and I just hope the club keeps going.'

Back said he had been 'overwhelmed' by messages of support following the pair's decision and thanked 'the area's best coach' Curson for being 'so loyal'.

Paul Taylor expressed an interest in taking charge of the club at a hastily-arranged crisis meeting on Monday, organised by Chris Milsom.

Milsom, who has offered to be Taylor's assistant, said: 'I just want to try and keep it going for Backie and Curly – to carry their legacy on for them.

'I want to thank them for what they did but we all need to stick together now. We need to get through the season.

'I'm not saying we'll be world beaters but we'll give it a really good go.'

The Royals – who begin the defence of their Junior Cup Crown at Yaxham on September 15 – will hold a training session at River Lane on Saturday.

The session starts at 10.30am and existing and any new players are welcome to take part.