Thorpe are flying high
Thorpe Ladies FC have taken a leaf out of the Canaries' book and gained back-to-back promotions to reach the top flight.
Having won the Norfolk Women's League the previous season, the newly-formed team soon found its feet in the Eastern Region Women's League Divison One North, landing the title, writes Viv Thomas.
Manager Neil Ford said he was delighted with the season's success which has earned Thorpe the right to join other teams, including the more established Norfolk team Hethersett Athletic Ladies, in the Premier Division.
This is the highest level played at by any Norfolk team currently, with the exception of Norwich City Ladies who are in the SE Combination.
'We were just going into the division expecting to try and stay there, winning it was better than we hoped for,' said Ford.
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'We won the Norfolk County League and moved into Division One of the Eastern Region Women's Football League and we will be going up into the Premier.'
He founded the club in 2008 with Ian Groves, assistant coach. They used to work with Norwich City Girls in U10s to U16s but decided to set another team to give other girls a chance.
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'We started the team in 2008 and have gone from strength to strength,' he said, adding that he was proud of the girls' achievements.
'The girls could do with a little bit of recognition, a pat on the back for what they have achieved. It's down to them entirely. They are good footballers.
'They are quite young – the average age is 19 so they have been playing against older, established teams and coming up trumps.
'A lot of new girls joined at the younger age end and hopefully in three or four years' time they will be getting into the Ladies' team as well.
They have been playing football for a long time.'
The Ladies' team is sponsored by Urban Hairdressor of Thorpe and Paravanni's ice creams.
Youth sections were set up two years ago at U10 and U11 level.
The U11s are sponsored by Frying Machine, Furze Road, Thorpe, and the U10s by Freshbake.