Aylsham FC have lots to celebrate
Aylsham Football Club are celebrating a truly amazing season after enjoying unparalled success in league and cup competitions.
The club's senior and reserve teams both completed promotion and cup doubles while the Ladies won the Norfolk League before falling at the final hurdle of their cup competition at the weekend.
The top target at the beginning of the campaign was to take the club's first team a step closer to a return to senior football in the Gleave and Associates Anglian Combination, and that was duly achieved with a runners-up spot behind Harleston Town in Division Three.
The Reserves followed suit as they finished second behind Bradenham Reserves to earn a place in Division Five next term – and then the fun really started in the Combination's knock-out competitions, with Aylsham winning them both on penalty shoot-outs, by an identical margin of 4-3!
In the CS Morley Cup Final at Wroxham the Reserves drew 2-2 with Division Four outfit St Andrews Reserves, with Shaun Rebbeck and Charlie Corkerton on target, before completing the job with penalties from Travis Whitlam, Danny Sutton, Richard Myhill and James Nichols.
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History then repeated itself in the Cyril Ballyn Cup Final when the first team drew 0-0 with Wortwell before emerging victorious in sudden death, with Whitlam, Mark Critten, Jamie McCann and Dale Gedge all converting their spot-kicks.
A win for the Norfolk Ladies champions in their League Cup final on Sunday would have provided the icing on the cake for the amalgamated club formed as Aylsham FC in 2008 but sadly they were beaten 2-1 by Acle at Plantation Park. That was a rare setback for chairman Ian Potter and overall he is understandably delighted at the progress that has been made over the course of the 2010-11 campaign.
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'It really is an exciting time for the club – in fact I'm sure it has got to be the best season in the history of football in Aylsham.,' he said. 'The players from all three teams deserve all the praise that is going for what they have achieved.
'We've got local players, who want to play for their local team, and an excellent youth system. Now all we need are the facilities to go with it.'
Aylsham are currently based at the town's Recreation Ground but plans are afoot to move to a purpose-built site off the Cawston Road, with a planning application now with Broadland District Council.
'If everything goes to plan we could be playing at the new ground at the start of the 2013-14 season and that really would be a dream come true for everyone connected with the club,' said Potter.