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Tong back with Bloaters

PUBLISHED: 09:53 13 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 July 2010

Paul Tong has returned to Great Yarmouth Town to run the first team jointly with Kevin Cruickshank.

Among their first opponents at the Wellesley will be Scottish outfit Clyde and King's Lynn is pre-season games.

Paul Tong has returned to Great Yarmouth Town to run the first team jointly with Kevin Cruickshank.

Among their first opponents at the Wellesley will be Scottish outfit Clyde and King's Lynn is pre-season games.

Tong, who was assistant manager to Bill Punton at Wellesley Road in the 1989-90 season and fully in charge of team affairs between 1997 and 2004, was most recently at Diss Town until near the end of last season.

Cruickshank last campaign successfully took over following the November resignation of Nick Banham.

Other appointments see Eden Rudling, last season's goalkeeping coach, take on the Reserves, while Ian Griffin and Mark Scales will continue with their successful U18 set-up.

A new venture is a pre-existing U9 side which is coming under the Bloaters' banner next season, run by former club player Wayne Hunter.

A challenging series of pre-season matches has been announced.

One of the highlights must be a first for non-league football in Norfolk - a visit from a Scottish League side, Clyde, who survived a play-off to retain their Division One status last season.

The fixture has been made possible through contacts of Dale Gordon. Clyde will also play King's Lynn in a two-match Norfolk tour to start their own preparations.

Newly-promoted Lynn, who expect to be playing in the Blue Square North next season, will also visit the Wellesley, as will Blue Square South Braintree Town who narrowly missed out on promotion in their play-offs.

What has become a regular pre-season fixture since Yarmouth departed the Ridgeons Premier takes on extra spice when the Bloaters visit FA Vase finalists Lowestoft Town. In last year's game at the Wellesley, Yarmouth won by the extravagant margin of 4-1, although the game was ended a few minutes early when Lowestoft's Reece Hunn suffered a serious injury.

The pre-season dates are: Saturday, July 12 against Clyde at home, 3pm; Saturday, July 19 against King's Lynn at home, 3pm; Tuesday, July 22 against Lowestoft away, 7.45pm; Saturday, July 26 against Braintree at home 3pm; Thursday, July 31 against Cromer away 7.30pm; Saturday, August 2 against Sheringham away 3pm. Other matches may yet be arranged.

The U18 matches so far arranged are Wednesday, July 23 against Norwich Union at Pinebanks 6.30pm; Thursday, July 31 against Norwich City Academy at Colney 6pm; Sunday, August 10 against Woodbridge Town Youth away 1.30pm; Saturday, August 16 against Stalham Town away 2.30pm. Other games are also in the pipeline.

The Bloaters hold their general meeting on Monday at 8pm. Due to the clubhouse refurbishments taking longer than expected, the meeting will now be held in the Furzedown Hotel in North drive. All members are welcome to attend.

Pre-season training starts next week. On Monday the youth team start at 6.45pm at the Wellesley ground. On Wednesday at 6.45pm both adult and youth training will take place and then continue on successive Mondays and Wednesdays at the same time - there is an open invitation to all prospective players, both youth and adult.

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