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Parson Drove manager Arran Duke calls for good run to crown his assistant Dean Miller’s last games as a player





Parson Drove manager Arran Duke is hoping his side can end the season on a high to give a fitting send-off to assistant manager Dean Miller’s playing career.

Although Duke hopes the popular Miller will stay on as his number two, the former March and Swaffham centre-back is calling time on his playing career after 20 years in non-league football.

Following a 2-1 home defeat to Dussindale & Hellesden Rovers in the Eastern Counties League First Division North on Saturday, Drove are at league leaders Great Yarmouth Town on Wednesday before entertaining third-place Stanway Pegasus on Saturday.

Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove manager Arran Duke
Parson Drove manager Arran Duke

Duke said: “Dean has decided to retire after 20 years playing at this level and above. He’s been my assistant for the last two seasons and I’m hoping he will stay on, but to see him go out on a high with some positive results and us get as high in the league as we can would be a fitting end to his playing journey.

“The lads have only found out his plans today and I feel that will give us some more incentive to kick on. We want to go out there now for the next 10 games and give a good account of ourselves.

“I can’t fault Dean. I’ve worked with him at three different clubs and I’ve become very close to him and I want to see him go out on a high.

Parson Drove manager Arran Duke
Parson Drove manager Arran Duke
Dean Miller
Dean Miller

“He’s a big player for us and wears the captain’s arm band. He’s the heart of the defence and doesn’t miss many games, but he plays through injury most weeks and his body has taken a bit of a battering.

“I want to put something together for the end of the season and finish off with a record points total for the club. We’ve probably already done that, but now let’s go and smash that.

“I feel Yarmouth might be a bit of a stretch but after that we need to make sure that we’re firing on all cylinders, finishing as high as we can and making sure Dean has a happy ending.”

Drove looked disjointed as they slipped to 12th place after a 2-1 home defeat to Dussindale on Saturday. The visitors took the lead after just five minutes but Drove levelled the scores from the penalty spot after 38 minutes, Matteo Perkins picking himself up after being fouled to score his 16th of the season in just his 17th game. However, the visitors scored again ten minutes after the break to seal the victory.

Matteo Perkins scoring a penalty
Matteo Perkins scoring a penalty
Adrian Bilicz
Adrian Bilicz

Duke added: “It was a disappointing day as we didn’t hit anywhere near the form we know we can and looked a little bit disjointed. Not playing regular games during the last couple of months has certainly had an impact.

“Even though I don’t prefer them personally, we have played better against teams who have 3G surfaces – it suits the way we want to play. We haven’t been able to train here recently and this is only the second game we’ve managed to play here this year.

“There were some positives though. Callum Robinson has got his first minutes in months after an injury and Matteo Perkins has got his most minutes for a a few weeks after illness so it was nice to see them back.

Jack Prentice
Jack Prentice
Nick Castellan
Nick Castellan

“But finding we are going back to Great Yarmouth on Wednesday, a week after it was called off for fog, hasn’t given us much time to get players off work so that’s going to be a big ask and I totally understand those players who won’t be able to make it.

“But we’ve got 10 games left, with six of those at home and that’s a lot of football still to play. We’ve met the expectations we had for this season already – this time last year we were in a massive hole and struggling to get out of it.

“The aim this season was to be comfortable and safe in this league and we’ve done that. We’ve turned a massive corner from last season and played some nice football. But we still have stuff to play for and want to finish on a high.”

Alex Vincent
Alex Vincent
Harrison Taylor
Harrison Taylor
Byron Adiado
Byron Adiado

Parson Drove: Brazil, Jackson, Taylor, Miller, Robinson, Hunt, Castallan, Bilicz, Prentice, Perkins, Vincent. Subs: Adiado, Crombie, Hawes, Easey, Stewart.

Matteo Perkins being fouled for a penalty for Parson Drove
Matteo Perkins being fouled for a penalty for Parson Drove
PNick Castellan
PNick Castellan
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Matteo Perkins celebrating scoring a penalty
Matteo Perkins celebrating scoring a penalty
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Nick Castellan
Nick Castellan
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Harrison Taylor
Harrison Taylor
Jack Prentice
Jack Prentice
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Tommy Hunt
Tommy Hunt
Luke Crombie and Brad Easey
Luke Crombie and Brad Easey
Brad Easey
Brad Easey
Matteo Perkins being fouled for a penalty for Parson Drove
Matteo Perkins being fouled for a penalty for Parson Drove
Dean Miller
Dean Miller
Jack Prentice
Jack Prentice
Matteo Perkins
Matteo Perkins
Alex Vincent
Alex Vincent
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Harrison Taylor
Harrison Taylor
Parson Drove manager Arran Duke
Parson Drove manager Arran Duke
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)
Parson Drove (Grey) v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers (Claret)

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