Godmanchester Rovers confirm they will turn down promotion to Step 4 this season

Godmanchester Rovers FC V Gorleston Godmanchester Rovers FC V Gorleston

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
12:03 PM

Godmanchester Rovers have decided to decline promotion to Step 4 of the non-league ladder – should the club win the chance to go up this season.

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Godmanchester Rovers have decided to decline promotion to Step 4 of the non-league ladder – should the club win the chance to go up this season.

The Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division side, who applied for promotion earlier this season, are currently fifth in the table after some mixed results since Christmas when they were second. And, at a recent meeting of the board, the decision was made to turn down promotion should the offer arise.

“We have told the league this week that we have declined the offer,” confirmed the general manager at Bearscroft Lane, Karly Hurst. “We have a good committee and good sponsors and when we looked at the work we would have to do to be up to standard off the pitch as well as on it, we decided we didn’t want to go up when not properly prepared.

“We have a three-year plan for promotion. We are in season two now and when we go up we want to stay up.”

Joint manager at the club, Nev Nania, is convinced the team would be good enough to compete and consolidate at Step 4. But says the FA’s ground grading committee have thwarted that ambition. “We would be able to consolidate at Step 4 – I have no fear of that,” he said. “But the ground graders made it very difficult for us to do the work in a month.

“The chairman, Keith Gabb, is talking to the FA and he has assured me there will be extra funds to do the work in time for next season. We just couldn’t afford to spend thousands on getting the club ready in such a short time.

“I have talked to players who want to join us in the summer and we will come back stronger next season.”

As things stand on the pitch, Goddy are not certain of finishing in a high enough position anyway. The team has had another strange season – going to league leaders Hadleigh United one day and winning 4-2, then going to mid-table Norwich United three days later and losing 1-0. That’s just one example of their up-and-down form.

On Saturday, they drew 0-0 with Gorleston. That was a good result against a team also in the race for second. Hadleigh didn’t apply for promotion and will probably win the league so second place will be good enough for a team that wants to go up this year. Unfortunately, that’s not Goddy.

Against Gorleston, Goddy had their chances – some of which fell to strikers James Hall and Niks Savlaneiks – but in the end neither side was able to break the deadlock in a game that was talked up by Nania, who works alongside David Hurst at the club.

“It was a very good game indeed,” he said. “Two sides vying for the top four – and I would suggest we had the better of the chances.”

Now, this Saturday, they are away at Brantham Athletic, a team that for quite some time featured in the top four this season – but who have now dropped off and are languishing in 11th.

“They have certainly had an up-and-down season,” said Nania. “I would expect us to win three points there. We are looking pretty good away from home and I think we have only lost once on the road.”

He is wrong, but then that Norwich defeat was probably quite forgettable. But the fact remains, just two losses on the road – the other one was a 1-0 defeat at Newmarket Town in December – is still a pretty fine record.

So watch out Brantham, because a Goddy bruised is a dangerous creature.

Expect returns for central defenders Nicky Hurst and Tom Moran who, lacking fitness, played in the reserves at the weekend to get some game time.

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