Norwich United decide against pursuit of promotion

Thurlow Nunn representative Andy Brown handing over the Thurlow Nunn League Performance Award.for De

Thurlow Nunn representative Andy Brown handing over the Thurlow Nunn League Performance Award.for December and January to Norwich United skipper Andy Eastaugh. Also pictured with the players is league president John Day. - Credit: Submitted

Norwich United have made the difficult decision to not pursue promotion from the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

The Planters are 14 points clear at the top of the table after 0-0 home draw with Fakenham yesterday, but the Blofield club's hierarchy hope patience will prove to be a virtue.

Manager Damian Hilton explained: 'We probably didn't expect this season to be as successful as it has been. The club has come on, on the pitch, very quickly but off the field we are trying to catch up still.

'I had a chat to the players and said that I felt the whole club needed to be on board if we were going to go up, and at this point, there is not enough desire to do it.

'We've started an under-19s team and we're hoping that will develop into a reserve side. We've got youth sides running right the way through now, so the structure is in place, we're getting there. There have been times this season when we have struggled to field a full bench for the first team and I would say 70 per cent of the players were not wholly keen on making the step up this season. So as a club we are looking to do it, but not this year.'

The Planters are set to win their first title in the top tier of the Eastern Counties League, in a season where they reached the fifth round of the FA Vase and the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, both for the first time.

'It's nice to have the conversations that the club has never had before. We've had runs in the FA Cup and Vase and the publicity that we got from that was tremendous for the club.

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'But I don't think Ryman North is a particularly nice league, it's a stepping stone to the Ryman Premier and I looked it and asked myself if the club was ready for the Ryman Premier, and I don't think it is.'