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Bloaters return to top flight

PUBLISHED: 10:04 06 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 September 2010

The Great Yarmouth Town squad which won the Michael Wright Trophy at Sheringham during pre-season.

The Great Yarmouth Town squad which won the Michael Wright Trophy at Sheringham during pre-season.

Great Yarmouth Town tomorrow return to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League from which they were relegated in 2005, with a visit to last season's back-markers, Wivenhoe Town (ko 3pm).

Great Yarmouth Town tomorrow return to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League from which they were relegated in 2005, with a visit to last season's back-markers, Wivenhoe Town (ko 3pm).

It should prove an interesting clash, bringing together the Premier Division wooden-spoonists and the first division champions, writes Gerry Brown.

The Bloaters have the majority of last season's successful squad available with only Scott Woodcock, Marcus Saunders and Steve Best of the regulars not re-signing - plus Adam Sewell who is taking a US soccer scholarship.

Replacements have been found in Andy Hayton, Johnny Miller, Will Ferguson and Richard Durrant amongst others, and Gareth Palmer is back and raring to go more than ever.

However, a cautious manager Paul Tong is still concerned about the strength in depth of his squad.

“It may be a problem considering the increased number of games in the Premier Division, but we'll try to hold our own and compete with some very good sides,” he said this week.

“We've had some quality friendlies. King's Lynn and Grantham were the hardest teams we played but that's what you need, to pit your wits against better sides.

“I've been pleased with the pre-season games, and those experiences will stand the youngsters in good stead when they come up against the quality sides in the division.”

Which Yarmouth will do very early in the new season. In the first two months, they are due to play 15 games, nine of them away.

Kirkley (twice), Leiston (twice), Wroxham, Dereham and CRC have all to be played in this period which, according to Tong, “will be our yardstick for the season!”

“But that's the price of promotion,” he continued, “and now the challenge will be to keep up to the mark and improve our standards.

“And with two games a week in these early months that's a whole new challenge for the lads.”

After tomorrow's game at Wivenhoe, one of the longer trips, Yarmouth make their shortest league journey when they travel to Kirkley & Pakefield on Wednesday (ko 7.45).


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