NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Whittlesey Athletic are back where they belong after sealing return to PDFL Premier Division

PUBLISHED: 13:02 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:02 09 August 2017

Whittlesey Athletic, led by manager Rick Hailstone (front row, third right), are back in the PDFL Premier Division.

Whittlesey Athletic, led by manager Rick Hailstone (front row, third right), are back in the PDFL Premier Division.

Archant

Eleven months ago, Whittlesey Athletic was a club in turmoil.

Whittlesey will hope they can replicate the success of the 2015/16 season, which saw them win the PFA Senior Cup for the second successive season. Picture: MARK CHAMBERS Whittlesey will hope they can replicate the success of the 2015/16 season, which saw them win the PFA Senior Cup for the second successive season. Picture: MARK CHAMBERS

Without a manager and forced to withdraw from the First Division of the United Counties League over a funding dispute, it was left to the club’s reserve side to take the baton and fulfil its mission of returning the club to the PDFL’s top division.

And now, Athletic are back where they belong after their application for promotion was unanimously accepted by the league’s other members on Monday (August 7) and are looking to hit the ground running, according to co-chairman, Gary Munns.

“It was a unanimous vote and that sets us up nicely for the season ahead,” he said.

“We’ve had a good pre-season; we’ve beat Sleaford AFC, Netherton United and Huntingdon Town, so we’re looking ok. We’re just looking forward to our first fixture now.”

The new era at Athletic will begin under the guidance of new boss Rick Hailstone, who hit 14 goals for the reserves last season, and assistant and former Whittlesey stalwart, Simon Flanz.

“I spoke to Rick this week and he can’t wait for the start of the season,” Munns said.

“It’s his first job as a number one and he is an unbelievable asset to have at the club – not just on the pitch.

“His influence has allowed us to move forward, both on and off the pitch.

“Simon is another great appointment. Every time we’ve spoken over the last two years, the topic of conversation has always been about how Whittlesey are doing and how they can move forward.

“He’s been at Ramsey and it didn’t work out at Wisbech for him but for me, he’s always been destined to be at Whittlesey and I’m delighted he’s back where he belongs.”

And now that the club’s first team’s future has been secured, Munns has turned his attentions towards ensuring the success of its reserve side.

Whittlesey’s second-string finished in fourth in the PDFL Division One under Max Flintoft last term.

“Our aims have changed slightly in the last week,” Munns admitted.

“Our focus was to get the first team’s affairs out the way and now we’ve done that we can look at getting promotion for the reserves.

“They were in the promotion places last season so hopefully now they can get out of Division One and our A and B teams can progress too.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Wisbech Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Wisbech Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Wisbech Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

43 minutes ago

Can you help this Wisbech woman reunite with her Christmas reindeer car antler? She woke up to the devastating sight of her previously festive Peugeot left antler-less.

11:13

Police would like to identify the men in the picture - who are believed to have links to Wisbech - following the theft of a valuable Morris Minor pedal car.

10:15

An 81-year-old Soham man will stand trial today (Tuesday December 12) in connection with an investigation into non-recent allegations related to football in Cambridgeshire.

Yesterday, 12:44

A Wisbech mum, who spent years fund raising for others, has died while waiting for private treatment for liver cancer.

Most read stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter