Freemasons hot-shots are aiming to go far
- Credit: Archant
Newcomers Freemasons are flying high after confidently taking the first step on the road their manager hopes will lead to a rapid rise to the Evening News Copy IT Norwich Sunday League top flight.
The team, consisting of lads from the Lakenham and Tuckswood areas, boasts an unbeaten record in its Division 4b debut season and also bears the distinction of carrying the league banner into the Norfolk Sunday Junior Cup semi-finals.
Ambitious manager Dieter Hume is delighted by the flying start during the early stages of his mission to turn Freemasons into an outfit capable of throwing down the gauntlet to the league's big boys – such as north city pub side Marlborough, who completed the league, league cup and Norfolk Sunday Senior Cup treble last season and have won the top flight title eight times in the last 14 years since the Premier Division set-up was formed.
'I am fed up with Marlborough winning everything, to be honest. I am looking to go up through the divisions and get us to the stage where we can compete with your Marlboroughs and AFC Wanderers and teams like that,' said Hume, who maintains that the overall standard of the top flight is the lowest it has been for a decade.
'The Premier Division is the weakest I have seen in the past 10 years and I have been to quite a few games to watch,' he declared.
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Hume was involved with the Farmhouse side which won promotion to Division One level, and is a former Norman Wanderers youth team manager.
Freemasons are the league's current leading scorers with 78 goals in 10 games, and will host Belton in the February 17, Norfolk Sunday Junior Cup semi-finals with the winners meeting GY Galaxy or Fairstead in the final.
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Hume believes his players are reaping the benefits of regular training sessions at the YMCA sport hall at Norwich City's former Trowse training ground.
'We are a very fit side. We are probably a little too good for the division we are in but I am not knocking it because we all have to start somewhere.'
The side, which plays home matches at Barnham Broom, includes Dieter's younger son Deion, and is coached by Ian Greengrass.
The only blemish on the record so far is an early-season draw with Hethersett Athletic, when Hume says the side was without its regular goalkeeper.
The bulk of the goal-power is being provided by Craig McKail, who has scored over 20 times, followed by Jordan Crane, an ex- Norwich City Academy recruit.
Defender Ryan Mickleburgh also boasts a yellow and green pedigree. 'We score a lot of goals from all over the pitch – even our goalkeeper has scored,' said Hume.
The side is captained by Lewis Warnes in central midfield – a department in which Matthew Collier has been catching the eye.
'He is our engine. We give the ball to him and he pulls all the strings.'
Meanwhile Hume has given the thumbs-up to the new system, introduced this season, which allows five roll-on roll -off substitutes in Norwich Sunday League matches.
'When I was at the AGM I really didn't agree with it but to be honest I have got a big squad and it gives us a chance to bring some fresh legs on. I love it.
'It's been a revelation for me because I can get people on and and off and it keeps a happy balance within the side,' he commented.