Norfolk Thurlow Nunn League outfit Gorleston withdraw their promotion application

Gorleston mayor Colleen Walker with club chairman Alan Gordon.

Gorleston mayor Colleen Walker with club chairman Alan Gordon. - Credit: Archant

Thurlow Nunn Premier Division promotion hopefuls Gorleston have stunned Norfolk's non-league scene by admitting they no longer wish to go up this season.

The Greens, currently third, looked set to move up to Step Four of the semi-professional game by finishing in one of the top three positions while also possessing an excellent Emerald Park ground that is almost ready for higher-level football.

But chairman Alan Gordon has announced that whatever happens, Stewart Larter's side will remain in the Eastern Counties' set-up next term.

He said: 'It is tinged with great sadness that I must inform you all that in my capacity as chairman of Gorleston that we will not now be following up our interest in promotion to Step Four for the following season. We have always said that if all aspects on and off the field were in place that we would pursue our ambitions and that of our manager and players.

'Unfortunately several off-field issues have arisen over the past couple of months that make our application for next season unattainable. First of all we had our recent ground inspection and the modifications that are required for the step up are both costly and would not be completed within the required timescale but at least we know what they are now and can approach in a controlled manner for any future applications.'

Sponsorship for ground rent, paid for by Pleasure & Leisure, will no longer continue while stalwarts Mick Santon (treasurer) and Ann Santon (secretary) will soon step down from their roles.

Gordon added: 'We thank them for their great service to the club and they will always be held in high esteem for their efforts but it is another strong reason not to go for promotion this year with having a brand new treasurer and secretary on board.

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'We tried right up to the last minute to make this work, to match our manager Stewart Larter and his players' ambitions but realise we are just custodians of the club and will not jeopardise its long-term future to appease our short term goals. We are not saying we will never go for promotion, I have a burning desire to see us play at a higher level, but not at any cost.'