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Spixworth poised for move to Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe once promotion is confirmed

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:51 27 April 2017

Spixworth (blue) could be moving to the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe next season, as promotion beckons. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Spixworth (blue) could be moving to the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe next season, as promotion beckons. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

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Big changes are on the horizon for Spixworth this summer, with a new home and even a potential change of name being considered.

The club claims it is because of Spixworth Parish Council that it has had to leave the village, located north of Norwich. Photo: Antony KellyThe club claims it is because of Spixworth Parish Council that it has had to leave the village, located north of Norwich. Photo: Antony Kelly

The Anglian Combination Premier Division leaders are destined for promotion, as they battle Harleston for the title, and are expected to be accepted into the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League.

That status is due to be ratified on the basis of the club leaving its current home at Spixworth Village Hall, in Crostwick Lane, and moving to the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe.

“For one reason or another we’ve been asked to leave Crostwick Lane. We were hoping to develop that site but were told we can’t because it’s a community playing field,” Spixworth chairman Clive Cook explained.

“We were wanting to put lights up and things like that because we want to progress as a club. We were planning to find a new ground within the next two years but in the meantime we’ve been forced to leave.”

Spixworth are set to move to the Norfolk FA's Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe.Spixworth are set to move to the Norfolk FA's Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe.

Those circumstances leave the club, performing so well under the management of Mark and Andrew Collison this season, on the verge of moving to the ‘Field of Dreams’ pitch at the FDC.

“With the help of Norfolk FA and the FDC we’ve applied to play there and the Thurlow Nunn League have done the ground grading and we’ve been accepted but we won’t get formal confirmation until a league meeting on May 6,” Cook continued.

“And the FDC will only let us play there if we’re playing in the Thurlow Nunn League, so we need it to be confirmed or we could end up homeless!”

The initial agreement is for one year but Cook believes a long-term stay is possible. That could lead to the club, which was originally Norwich Union and played at Pinebanks in Thorpe St Andrew until 2008, reverting to another of the club’s former names: AFC Norwich.

Scott Sell in the thick of the action for Spixworth against Stalham at Crostwick Lane earlier this year. 

PHOTO: Nick ButcherScott Sell in the thick of the action for Spixworth against Stalham at Crostwick Lane earlier this year. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

“It’s great news,” Cook added. “We’ve always wanted to progress on and move to higher leagues and thankfully we’ve been successful in the last few years which has allowed us to.

“The facilities at the FDC are second to none.”

Spixworth maintained their eight-point lead on Harleston when they played their final match at Crostwick Lane last night, beating Norwich Ceyms 4-0.

Harleston won 2-1 at home against Kirkley & Pakefield Reserves to keep the Premier Division title race alive, needing to win their two games in hand to set up a shoot-out for the crown on the final day, at Harleston, on Saturday, May 6.

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