With a pre-season of the good and not-so-good, Wroxham start their season at step 5 with a home game against Histon on Tuesday night (7.45pm) in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League.
There have been many changes at the Yachtsmen over the Summer both on and off the football pitch. A new managerial structure has come in with Ross Potter and Tom Parke appointed as Joint Managers. Potter arrived from Diss whilst this is Parke’s first managerial role in adult football having had a successful grounding at Youth level.
Off the field, a new Chairman in Lee Robson has “brought his broom to sweep through Trafford Park” and a new structure including Kevin Lawn as Director of Football has been appointed.
Within the playing side, a number of those at the club opted to remain at Step 4 and moved to other local sides whilst others have decided to play elsewhere. With a handful including Matt Cook, Adam Plumstead, Craig Bussens, Ben Fowkes and Ross Gilfeddar being the only first teamers to remain, Potter and Parke’s first task was to bring in hungry players who will be able to compete and hopefully succeed at that level. This was done at an early stage of the pre-season break to instill a sense of camaraderie and to enable them to work together as a squad throughout that period. All signings being made were communicated through Twitter to show that the club were re-building and ambitious.
Amongst their signings during the pre-season, goalkeeper Will Winer has joined from higher level Haringey Borough, Adam Smith joined from Dereham Town and Tom Matthews newly appointed as Captain has come in from The New Saints where he was included in Champions League squads. All of this makes for an exciting time for the Trafford Park fans as the huge potential shown by the youngsters brought in by Potter and Parke are added to those who have previously played at this level and above.
With the aim to instill a winning mentality and not to settle for second best, the managerial team are looking to play entertaining football with the ability to change styles to win matches, something that they have both been able to do in their previous roles. With this though comes a caveat of caution from Ross Potter as “it may take a little time to fully gel but with support from the fans the club is entering an exciting time. It’s also great to have a talented off-the-field team at all levels in the club”.
The visitors to Trafford Park for this first test for the Yachtsmen are Histon Football Club. The Cambridgeshire side were on the verge of the football league as recently as 2010 as members of the Football League Conference. They reached the third round of the FA Cup in 2008-9 beating Leeds United in the Second Round before eventually losing 2-1 to Swansea City in the third. That same season losing in the play-offs for promotion.
Since that time, the Stutes have found themselves in a fall through the leagues. After a brief period maintaining their position in the Conference North, they dropped in to the Southern League in 2013-14.
Finishing second to bottom last season in the Southern League Division 1 Central, a second relegation in two seasons followed and they find themselves in the Eastern Counties League Premier alongside the Yachtsmen.
Manager Ross Potter commented: “Histon are a club that I have a lot of respect for. We have watched them a few times in pre-season and they are a good side so it will be a tough opening fixture. I’m pleased to be starting at home and I will back our boys to come up with the goods.”