Premier spot for Saints

WISBECH St Mary’s place in the Cambs Premier Division has finally been confirmed for next season.

Club secretary Martin Holmes said: “We are delighted after nine seasons and several promotions to have won a place in the Premier Division. Three managers Ian Papworth, Kenny Williams and Aaron Duke have all played a part in the team’s success.

“I am particularly delighted that all the efforts of the current manager Aaron Duke have been rewarded. He has been with the club since he was six playing in boys, youths and adult teams.”

The adult section of the village club was formed in the 2003-04 season when Papworth approached Holmes to see if he could run a team from their base on Saturdays. They were put in Division Five of the Cambs League and it was not long before Papworth took them through to Division Three. Williams then ran a reserves side the following season and the club now run five adult teams on Saturdays.

Under Williams’ direction the first team were promoted to Senior B and Duke has won promotions in the last two seasons to gain a Premier place after finishing third in Senior A last season.

No other club in recent history has worked their way up from Division Five to the Premier Division as quickly as Wisbech St Mary in nine seasons.

The club had floodlights installed three seasons ago and Holmes can only look to a bright future for the club. “Our under 18 team did very well in the Ridgeons Youth League last season and the under 16 team won the Cambs League.

“We might not be playing Wisbech Town Reserves next season but we will have a local derby against Chatteris Town to look forward to.”

Duke said: “I owe a great deal of thanks to Martin Holmes for all the work he does and the two previous managers as well and then a large number of past and present players who have played their part too.

“We are already preparing for next season and hope to have three new signings next week and training starts in June 12 to make sure we are ready for the new season in the Premier Division.”

Doddington United who finished third in Division 2B are to be promoted to Division 1B alongside runners-up Manea United and that will lead to local derby games against March Town Reserves and Chatteris Town Reserves as well in that division.

Benwick Athletic are almost certain to be promoted to Division 3B as well after finishing fourth in Division 4B last season. They were also promoted the previous season as well.

Alan Russell is to return to Parson Drove as manager of the Peterborough Premier Division side after Nick Markillie resigned at the end of the season.

Russell, a former March and Leverington manager, was in charge at the club before Markillie and will again have Lester Kent helping him.