North West Norfolk League leading the way for the grassroots game in West Norfolk
At a time when the grassroots game has come under close scrutiny for a lack of players, the North West Norfolk League is proof that football is very much alive and kicking in the area.
The sad demise of the Lynn Sunday League over the summer left question marks over the future of the game in West Norfolk, but the long-standing Saturday equivalent is thriving on all fronts.
A new committee, fresh ideas, sponsorship and a number of new sides has put paid to the myth that the game is totally on its knees.
League chairman Andrew Dix said: “Obviously what happened to the Sunday league was a big downer for West Norfolk football as they have played such a big part over the years.
“To see teams drift away probably gave us that nudge we needed to do better and we’ve come a long way in the last 12 months.
“We have tried to interact with clubs and give them something back. We are delighted have RB Trucks on board as our main sponsors.
“Ikon have kindly given every club a couple of footballs while Double G Clothing are doing the team of the month award, which we haven’t had for a couple of seasons.
“All of this is starting to put us back to where we want to be. There are so many clubs out there who have great facilities and who want to work hard.”
Dix, who has been involved with the league for more than 15 years, took on the role of chairman in the summer while Mark Kimber returned as secretary and former chairman Ray Vennemore became president.
The moves have worked a treat with a close bond between theleague’s committee and the clubs.
Plans are afoot to make the Saturday set-up a Charter Standard league, as well as launching adevelopment division to bridge the gap between youth and adult game in the future.
“Becoming Charter Standard can only bode well as clubs have to meet the FA criteria on that.
“The benefits financially and equipment-wise for clubs are huge.
“We’ve submitted a development plan to the FA for the next five years, which we should hear back on in the next fortnight.
“ You have to have at least 60 per cent of clubs charter standard, which we currently do.
“We’re looking to increase that to 80 per cent in the next year and any clubs who join the league will be given a season to get the award.”
Anyone wishing to become involved with the league, whether it be playing or helping with sponsorship, should email Dix at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The league is also looking to put together a history celebrating is long-standing status and anyone with pictures or memrobilia should email the same email address.