Gorleston boss can relate to agony felt at Southampton
Returning Gorleston manager Richard Daniels expects supporters of the Greens have experienced similar frustrations to those of Premier League club Southampton this summer.
The Saints have been through a similar demolition programme at the top level to that which Gorleston have had to endure in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.
Southampton’s success has seen their manager and star players leave for bigger clubs. Unfortunately for Gorleston however, their similar situation hasn’t generated the same tens of millions of pounds.
The Greens had applied for promotion to the Ryman League last season but that application was withdrawn in late March and manager Stewart Larter eventually left for Wroxham, after the Greens finished fifth.
The success of that season, including beating Wroxham in the Norfolk Senior Cup final at Carrow Road, also led to a host of Gorleston players following Larter to Ryman Division One North.
But Daniels, who takes his rebuilt squad to Wivenhoe Town today, insists he is not bitter about how events have unfolded at Emerald Park.
“In my opinion, with the ones who have moved to Wroxham, that shows how successful the club has been,” Daniels said.
“Elliott Pride has been the best keeper in the Thurlow Nunn League for the last three seasons, Andy Howell, David Hinton and Christy Finch, who’s just an out-and-out goalscorer, for me that shows how successful Gorleston have been.
“It’s the same as Southampton this summer, it’s no different to any other level of football, it’s the same as a lot of teams after a successful season.
“I remember when David Batch left Wroxham for Sudbury, the same thing happened.
“Sadly under Pav (former Wroxham boss Pawel Guzeijko) it didn’t happen and they have decided to go with Stewy Larter and I hope they do well.”
It is a dramatic turnaround for the former Gorleston striker, who managed the Greens between 2006 and 2012, winning the Eastern Counties First Division in 2011 and the Norfolk Senior Cup in 2012.
After a spell in charge of Diss Town, Daniels was refereeing at local level, before returning to the Gorleston hot seat this summer.
“I was on a forum the other day and someone was saying that Gorleston are favourites to get relegated,” Daniels continued. “But me and (assistant manager) Eddie Thompson and (coach) Aaron Huggins have managed to keep it local and we’re trying to build a team spirit.
“We’ve got two or three in the under-18s who are definitely going to breakthrough into the first team this season and that is a success for the club.”
During pre-season Daniels has seen his side take on higher-level opponents, drawing 0-0 with Lowestoft Town, losing 3-2 to Dereham Town and 3-0 to Bury Town.
But the Gorleston boss admits joining those sides at a higher level will probably have to go on the back-burner, for now.
“I think the club has very good sponsors and very good people but it takes money to reach the Ryman League so, I don’t think the chairman will thank me for saying this, but I think that is a long lost dream for the next few years,” Daniels added.
“Unless of course you get a sugar daddy who comes in and bungs in 30 to 40 thousand pounds.
“So we’ll consolidate and the main thing will be to have two or three under-18s coming through to show the club is getting that side of things right.”