LOCAL FOOTBALL: Big game and a big crowd in prospect as a new era starts for Sawtry with Sunday derby showdown

Michael Simpson has taken over as manager of Sawtry.

Michael Simpson has taken over as manager of Sawtry. - Credit: Archant

A new era for Sawtry is set to start with a bang tomorrow (Sunday).

The Peterborough & District League Premier Division side launch their season with a derby against A1 neighbours Stilton in new boss Michael Simpson’s first game at the helm.

And the Sunday afternoon clash at Greenfields (2pm) is expected to attract a crowd of more than of 250 supporters from far and wide.

The match forms the penultimate part of an organised tour laid on by Groundhop UK and covers eight United Counties League and Peterborough & District League fixtures starting on Friday night.

Simpson, who succeeded Wayne Wright as manager earlier this summer, said: “Our games against Stilton are usually well-watched and fiercely-contested – and I’m sure this one will be no different.

“There are bragging rights up for grabs and both teams will be desperate to win in front of what will hopefully be a big crowd as part of the Groundhop.

“It’s a big day for the club with all kinds of activities for all the family. We’re all determined to put on a good show – on and off the pitch.”

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Simpson is arguably the finest player to have emerged from Sawtry in recent times. He enjoyed a long career in non-league football before returning to his home village side a couple of years ago.

And he is excited about some of the new talents in his squad. He added: “We’ve got a good crop of players coming through and a few of them could go on to play at a decent level.

“We’ve looked okay in pre-season, getting the ball down and playing without fear. That’s the approach we intend to stick to.

“We’re probably not going to win the league, but we are the sort of team that could beat anyone on their day.”

Sawtry’s sponsors The Bell are providing a bar while there will also be a barbecue, bouncy castle, face painting and stalls provided by local businesses.

Admission is £4 for adults and free for children under 16.