THE prospective owner of Cornard United is set to be in the dugout as the club kicks off a new era when their Ridgeons League season begins at Swaffham Town on Saturday (3pm).
The Suffolk Free Press can unveil the mystery man currently in the latter stages of acquiring the Blackhouse Lane outfit as former Wormingford Wanderers manager Rob Batten.
The London-based businessman, who is in the hi-spec end of the motor industry, took charge of Cornard’s last friendly, a 5-0 defeat to Ridgeons Premier side Stanway Rovers on Saturday, alongside current owner and manager Chris Symes.
Both Batten, who led Wormingford to a mid-table finish in the Essex and Suffolk Border League Premier Division last term, a league below the Ridgeons First Division, and Symes have been registered as the club’s managers this season.
But Symes, who has been at Cornard for the last 17 years, has rebuilt the side over the summer while solicitors handle the sale and is still the key figure in the dressing room until it goes through, believing he will then depart.
He said: “Rob ran Wormingford for the past four year and is a native of Fulham.
“He just feels it was time to move up and Wormingford had certain restrictions on their ground and he felt he was ambitious.”
He added the deal would be a good one for the future prosperity of the club, with Batten set to acquire it for £25,000 and promising to pump money in.
Other sides from the area are also eagerly awaiting the start of the new season on Saturday, with Hadleigh United quietly confident of a strong campaign in the Ridgeons Premier Division, beginning the season at home to Great Yarmouth Town (3pm).
Meanwhile, Cornard’s First Division rivals Long Melford host Thetford Town at Stoneylands (3pm), while Halstead Town begin with a home game against Downham Town (3pm).