West Norfolk non-league round-up: Come and watch Downham Town, urges boss Brassett
Downham Town boss Pete Brassett is urging West Norfolk's football fans to enjoy a shopping-free weekend and go and watch his team on Saturday.
With King's Lynn Town, Wisbech Town, Swaffham Town and Fakenham Town – as well as Norwich City – all playing away Brassett is hoping to see some new faces at his side's home clash with Halstead Town.
While he admits that many fans will still travel away to watch their chosen clubs at the weekend, he is encouraging others to take in a match much closer to home.
Brassett said: 'The big problem for us is King's Lynn are 20 minutes away and Norwich is less than an hour after that. We know we can't compete with Evo-Stik Division One South football, let alone Premier League. But what we can offer is Thurlow Nunn Division One football. And I think people will genuinely be surprised by the quality on show. We can offer young and hungry players, that they can't always get at other clubs, that are local.
'We try to play attractive football and it's a good chance for us to showcase what we're about. It's a friendly atmosphere at Downham and while people pass us on the way to watch other teams, we hope they don't this weekend.'
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Simon Bird (suspended) and Matt Castellan (county duty) will miss the weekend's game. Another player who won't feature is defender Ryan Pearson after he turned down an approach from Brassett and opted to stay with Fakenham.
The Downham boss, whose side sit 14th, said: 'He's a local lad but he's decided to stay with them for football reasons. The door's always open because he's a very good player. I'm looking to add one or two to the squad to help the group and increase competition for places.'
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Fellow First Division outfit Swaffham Town, sixth, are looking to also fulfil their first fixture since the cold-snap hit with a planned trip to Debenham LC.
Boss Paul Hunt said: 'We've done some five-a-side, Futsal, fitness classes and the sessions have been really well attended. The lads have been doing fitness of their own to add to it which shows their great attitude. I'm a big believer in working hard to keep sharp and I'd like to think that when we do get back out on the pitch the lads won't be too far away – although football fitness is a different thing. The lads are just gagging to play.'
Lee Woolmore and Toby Hilliard (both county) will miss the Pedlars' away game. Elsewhere, Liam Reed (knee) is back in training and Michael Mair (back from America) has returned to the club.
Wisbech Town are in FA Vase action while King's Lynn Town Reserves should host Stamford Belvedere in Peterborough Division One.