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Shiners Gain Late Promotion To Step 5

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South Normanton Athletic officials have received late confirmation that the club has been promoted to the Midland League Premier Division at Step 5 of the Pyramid.

With many rumours circulating local football about West Bridgeford withdrawing their application to take their place in Step 5 and the possible promotion of the Shiners, it was confirmed that they will be moving from the East Midlands League to play their football next season in the Midland League Premier Division.

Ironically officials met at the club`s AGM last night where this issue dominated discussions.

When the club re-formed and Tommy Leighton became manager there was a five-year plan to get the Shiners back to Step 5 of the Pyramid, this promotion comes in the fourth year of that plan.

Whilst the club would have liked to win the league and gain promotion by being champions, they fell just short of an excellent West Bridgeford side to finish second.

Leighton said: “I am thrilled that the club has gained promotion and it sees the efforts of all the coaching staff and players rewarded but importantly the massive support from the club`s committee rewarded.

“The ground is a lovely little arena and the pitch is second to none and is certainly set up for football at Step 5.”

This late promotion will see Leighton, his assistant Thom Kellogg and director of football Kev Bunting working hard to look at assembling a team to compete at this next level.

Leighton added: “We have a good squad already that served us well last season and many could play at higher level clubs anyway. We will be looking to bring in a few additions that can improve us and add competition in certain positions.

“This promotion opens up the door to look at a slightly different pool of players. It does mean we are starting a few weeks behind our new opponents but we will work hard to catch up on lost time.”

This will see the club having a big local derby with Heanor Town and some exciting new fixtures with trips to Shepshed Dynamo and Long Eaton United more locally, and an interesting trip to Worcester City, who have dropped out of the Vanarama National League North.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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