Steve Eastaugh’s progress is rewarded with new two-year deal at Norwich United
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
Steve Eastaugh has been rewarded for steering Norwich United to their best ever season with an extension to his current contract.
The Planters boss has signed a new two-year deal, taking him up to the summer of 2019.
United finished the Ryman League North Division in ninth position, having flirted with a play-off spot but falling short by seven points – a remarkable feat considering it was their first season competing at that level.
Eastaugh has been in charge since last June, having swapping roles with assistant John Edridge after a season when they led the club to their second Thurlow Nunn Premier Division title in the wake of Damian Hilton's departure to fellow Ryman North team Wroxham.
Planters chairman John Hilditch had no hesitation in tying down Eastaugh – who will continue to have Edridge by his side – to a longer deal.
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'I thought he did exceptionally well last season,' he said.
'Especially as it was our first season at that level.
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'That's why it was right that we extend his deal by two years.'
While United's season raised a few eyebrows, Hilditch was not among those surprised by their progress.
'Not really,' he said. 'Steve did say we would finish in the top 10, that was his intention, and that is what he did.
'He was obviously hoping we would finish in the play-off positions but that wasn't to be, although we came close.'
One issue that still rankles is the loss of the three points for fielding an ineligible player in their victory over Bury in October.
'It didn't help losing those three points for something we didn't deserve to lose them for, but I would say Steve got the team as far as they could go this season,' Hilditch added.
With Wroxham relegated and Dereham finishing 18th, the Planters were easily Norfolk's best-performing Step Four side – and Hilditch is hoping Eastaugh can go one better next season.
'Where we want to be is the play-off positions,' he said.
'I think Steve can get us there - he is one of those managers who doesn't shout and bawl like some of then.
'He has good coaching qualifications and he goes about his job in the right way.'