West Norfolk football round-up: Hunt believes there’s a vibrant feel at Swaffham Town
Boss Paul Hunt says there's a vibrant feel around Shoemakers Lane as Swaffham Town continue their preparations for the new football season.
The Thurlow Nunn First Division outfit continued their build-up on Saturday as they hosted Norwich City Under-18s in a pre-season friendly.
Hunt's charges led 1-0 until the closing stages of the second half and the Swaffham chief believes there were plenty of positives to take from the game – which his side eventually lost 2-1. Will O'Brien scored the Pedlars goal.
Hunt's side are back in action on Saturday when they host United Counties League Yaxley. They are likely to play an RAF Marham side next week before they begin their league programme, a little later than most other teams, at Saffron Walden Town on August 11.
After last season's injury crisis saw his side finish in the lower reaches of the table, the Pedlars' manager believes his squad has more depth to deal with potential problems this time round.
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Former King's Lynn reserve midfielder Mickey Thompson has joined after two years in the North West Norfolk League with Lynn North End.
Former Lynn youth defenders Dean Miller and Johnny George have also signed for Swaffham, whose first team home and away strips will be sponsored by Platten's Fish & Chips of Wells.
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Hunt said: 'I've been after Mickey for two years so I'm delighted he has agreed to sign. He's been outstanding in pre-season and has worked really hard to get back up to senior football level.
'Johnny and Dean are good defenders, all-round athletes and they know what senior football is about too. All three are not just good footballers, they're good lads too.
'I'm really happy they're here and equally excited about keeping almost all of the lads I wanted to from last season. I'm still hoping to add two more to the squad – there's a vibrant feel around the place.'
Two players who won't be wearing Swaffham colours this season are Nathan Cross and last season's under-18s player of the season Matthew Bussens. The pair have joined Ryan Charalanbous in signing for fellow West Norfolk First Division outfit Downham Town, who also have a delayed start to their campaign.
Downham first-team coach Pete Brassett said: 'Crossy is young, but he had played two or three seasons in Swaffham's first team. He'll be a senior head in our young side.
'Ryan and Matthew are both really good young teenagers and we're excited to have them here. It's been a bit of a frustrating pre-season with a couple of our games getting cancelled, but the lads have been working really hard. We'll be ready to go at Stowmarket come August 11.'
Goalkeeper Quintin Young has returned to the club after Lee Brooks left to link up with his former March manager Jamie Weston at Peterborough Northern Star.
Many people's tip to win the Premier Division title, Wisbech Town, kick-off their league campaign on Saturday at home to Walsham-le-Willows.
Elsewhere, the King's Lynn and District Sunday Football League have released their fixtures for the first two months of the season. With last season's Division One champions Bentick/Discovery folding, the stand-out tie of the opening weekend on September 2 is between last season's runners-up Englands Hope and the team they finished one place above – Terrington.
For a full list of fixtures for September and October visit http://klsundayleague.pitchero.com.