Ready for new challenge

CHAMPIONS: Long Melford were crowned Thurlow Nunn League First Division champions for the first time in their history during a memorable day at Stoneylands on Saturday
CHAMPIONS: Long Melford were crowned Thurlow Nunn League First Division champions for the first time in their history during a memorable day at Stoneylands on Saturday
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Jules Mumford has set his championship-winning Long Melford side the challenge of competing in every Premier Division game next season.

Already-promoted Melford secured their first-ever Thurlow Nunn League First Division title, after beating Downham Town 4-0 on the final day of the season at the weekend.

And now the Villagers boss has sent out a warning to their rivals that his side will not be pushovers in their debut campaign in the Premier Division in 2015/16.

“We’ll be giving it a go,” he said. “Our target is to compete in every game we play and see where that takes us.

“I don’t know a lot about the Premier Division, but I do know it is going to be a difficult challenge.

“We’re looking forward to it though and are really excited to get in there and play for the first time.

“The crowds have improved at Stoneylands this season and I think the club will be able to cope with the Premier Division next season.”

In front of an excellent crowd of 298, goals from Jack Durey (two), Jamie Griffiths and Steve Adams ensured Melford finished three points clear of Swaffham Town at the top, and as a result will go into their first season in the Premier Division as champions.

“It was a really good day for the club,” Mumford said. “League titles don’t come round very often and every lad deserved it this season.

“To score 101 goals in the league is a fantastic achievement, all the lads have played very well.”

Summer signing Jamie Griffiths finished as the club’s top goalscorer with 25 goals, and has added real firepower to a Melford side that previously only managed to score more than 50 league goals just once in the previous seven campaigns.

But Mumford was quick to point out the efforts of his whole squad, who as well as scoring the most goals in the division, have kept an impressive 17 clean sheets in all competitions this term.

“Jamie has been as key as anybody,” he said. “The whole squad have had a great season. In the last 14 games we’ve only conceded three goals.

“We set a target to win all those games and the lads have really kicked on to get us over the line.”

Melford won 12 of their last 14 games of the campaign, drawing the other two, with a season-ending run of nine straight wins sealing an historic maiden championship in the Thurlow Nunn League.