Norwich United will not stand in way of in-demand players after successful season

Norwich United manager Damian Hilton is hoping to keep most of his successful squad together. Pictur

Norwich United manager Damian Hilton is hoping to keep most of his successful squad together. Picture by Seb Daly/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Seb Daly/Focus Images Limited

Norwich United manager Damian Hilton will not begrudge any of his players the chance to play at a higher level after deciding not to pursue promotion from the Thurlow Nunn League.

The Planters have decided to be patient and continue strengthening the club on and off the field before they consider elevation to step four of the non-league pyramid.

After a season of rampant success in the Premier Division however, the Blofield club's players are undoubtedly going to be in demand this summer.

'If any of the lads decide they do want to move on and try at a higher level then, I know Stewy Larter at Wroxham and Matt (Henman) at Dereham well, so I would encourage any of the lads that want to try and progress and wish them good luck, knowing that they'll be welcome here if it doesn't work out,' Hilton said.

'But irrespective of if we lose a few, I think we'll do well again next year, we'll be competitive again because that is the minimum that I expect.'

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The Planters need just five points from their last seven matches to wrap up the title, following a remarkable season which has seen them win 27 of their 31 league games, scoring 86 goals and conceding just 21.

They also still have the Thurlow Nunn League Cup final to look forward to, against Walsham le Willows at Diss Town's Brewers Green Lane stadium on Monday, May 4.

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Hilton hopes that the majority of this season's squad will stay together though, continuing: 'We have talked about it already and, I've not had a chance to sit down individually with all the lads, but we've got a couple already signed on for next season.

'The feeling I've got is that the majority just want to concentrate on winning the league.

'Certainly our skipper Andy Eastaugh wants to stay and he's a big influence, so the feeling I've got is that the lads want to stay together.

'There'll be a certain degree of natural change and I'll certainly look to bring in two or three, like Zak Clarke who we've brought in towards the end of this season, but the majority of the squad got on so well, so I'm optimistic we'll keep the squad together.'

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