Star midfielder Connor Deeks likely to be leaving Great Yarmouth Town

Thurlow Nunn First Division football action between Yarmouth and Swaffham, Connor Deeks taking a pen

Thurlow Nunn First Division football action between Yarmouth and Swaffham, Connor Deeks taking a penalty. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Talented midfielder Connor Deeks should be playing at a higher level than Great Yarmouth Town, manager Ricci Butler has admitted.

The 18-year-old has been one of the Bloaters' best players in a much-improved campaign, which ran out of steam in the final weeks.

Butler's first season in charge saw Yarmouth miss out on promotion from the Thurlow Nunn First Division by just two points and lose 1-0 to AFC Sudbury Reserves in the final of the First Division Knockout Cup.

It means the Bloaters will not be able to offer the youngster Premier Division football next season, following a campaign in which he scored 15 goals in 44 games in all competitions.

'I think I'm going to lose one and rightly so. Connor Deeks, 18 years old, hell of a footballer, definitely got the credentials and the ability to go on and play at a higher level and he'll go with me recommending him to other teams,' pragmatic Yarmouth boss Butler said.

'I'll speak to other managers on behalf of him because I don't want him to be playing at this level, I want him to be playing at as higher level as he can.

'So it'll be an interesting summer. When you've had a season like we have, people generally want to come and join so it should be an interesting pre-season.'

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Last Friday's cup final defeat to Sudbury at Woodbridge Town's Notcutts Park made for a disappointing end to an encouraging season – Butler wasn't that surprised by the result though.

'To be fair I think our performances have dipped since we beat Haverhill and Swaffham,' he added.

'Since those games, even though we managed to scrape a few performances after that, actually our performances were going downwards and the Debenham game (losing 3-0) was kind of the tell where actually it was about time that someone gave us what we deserved, which was to be beaten.'