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All systems go for Gorleston and Yarmouth in Eastern Counties league

PUBLISHED: 09:37 03 August 2012 | UPDATED: 09:57 03 August 2012

Yarmouth and Gorleston resume their Eastern Counties League campaigns tomorrow determined to make fresh starts after widely differing experiences last season.

Yarmouth have wiped the slate clean after a nightmare campaign which brought relegation and almost saw the club go out of business, while Gorleston will be keen to build on their Norfolk Senior Cup success in a season overshadowed by the death of club president Jimmy Jones.

Bloaters boss Mike Derbyshire found himself holding a very dirty baby after moving from Gorleston last September after Paul Tong resigned. The club struggled for survival in the wake of a cash and manpower crisis, only averted by the arrival of a new main sponsor and more volunteers.

A full pre-season, and a crop of new signings have left Derbyshire, who is being assisted by Bob Hepburn, in buoyant mood on the eve of a new season which begins in Thurlow Nunn ECL Division One at Long Melford tomorrow and at Fakenham on Tuesday.

“The optimism around the club is so different to everything that was going on last season.This season is my season. Last season was somebody else’s frankly. This time I’m not coming in to pick up the pieces.”

He added: “It’s probably the first time, almost, since I took the job that I am looking forward to a game. If I have got headaches, they are the kind I want and not the kind that drag you down. I am not making any predictions but I would be very disappointed if we can’t finish in the top half of the table.”

Derbyshire has been able to bring in a crop of new signings including forward Danny Scriven from Kirkley, striker Mitch Forbes, who has returned from Gorleston, and midfielders Damon Wise (Gorleston); Johnny Jarvis (Blundeston), Josh Thomas (Caister Utd), Joe Bryanton (Caister Utd), while striker Neil Hurren is expected to be available on a more regular basis.

Derbyshire has been able to bring in a crop of new signings including forward Danny Scriven from Kirkley, striker Mitch Forbes, who has returned from Gorleston, and midfielders Damon Wise (Gorleston); Johnny Jarvis (Blundeston), Josh Thomas (Caister Utd), Joe Bryanton (Caister Utd), while striker Neil Hurren is expected to be available on a more regular basis.

Derbyshire’s choice of goalkeeper is expected to be straightfoward after new Portuguese recruit Alberto Lopez suffered a fractured shoulder in the Sailor Brown tournament while regular No1 Ben Cudden has been struck down by tonsilitis, leaving new signing from Beccles, Danny Cable to don the jersey.

Meanwhile Gorleston, who finished mid-table last term, kick off their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division campaign tomorrow when they visit Mildenhall Town.

“If somebody said to me and Stu that we would finish in the top eight then we would probably regard that as a success considering other clubs have got bigger budgets than we have,” said manager Richard Daniels.

The Greens have played five pre-season friendlies, against Lowestoft, Wroxham and three Anglain Combination sides. They have added two new signings to a mix which includes some exciting young talents who are expected to continue their senior education this term.

Experienced full back Carl Poppy, an ECL title winner with Lowestoft, has been signed from Norwich United, while ex-Green Ricci Butler, who has been scoring goals for fun for Haven Bridge, is back in the fold.

“Another plus point is that Matty Potter has returned as first team coach, while our new chairman Alan Gordon is definitely going to take the club forward with his ambition and passion,” said Daniels, who again has Stu Larter as his right-hand man. Club legend Eddie Thompson retains the captaincy.

Daniels, wished his opposite number Mike Derbyshire a successful season.

“We need to see Yarmouth back in the Premier Division. Many managers would have walked away from what Mike experienced last season but he didn’t and I wish him all the best.”

Mildenhall have had a good pre-season with victories over Soham Town Rangers and St Ives Town plus a 7-0 trouncing of Stowmarket Town.

On Tuesday night Gorleston play their first home league game of the season when Norwich United will visit Emerald Park, kick off 7.45.


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