RAF man Gary turns also-rans into high-flyers

St Johns manager Gary Howes says the desire to reward the dedication of Tony Franklin is helping to spur his side on to greater things.

'He is an absolute club legend. We want to do well for him, ' said Gary, who has transformed the side's fortunes since taking the helm for his first management post.

After he recruited several senior players his side won the Division Two title and the Junior Cup at Carrow Road, achieved promotion into the Anglian Combination top flight and finished a highly-creditable fourth in their Premier Divison debut season.

'I think we over-achieved last season – we still had the shock factor. This season we are aiming for the top five,' said former Sprowston Wanderers player Howes. An RAF man, who has served in Afghanistan, Howes revealed he delivered an ultimatum to the team in the first season. 'I said if we didn't win Division Two I would quit because we were too good with the players we had to be in that division.'

The team, skippered by Matty Racher, and including senior servants such as Graham Carr, Lee Robins, Tye Bussens and Dan Cushing, has been flying high ever since and are unbeaten over the last 10 games. The longest-serving player Luke Tuttle is enjoying one of his best seasons with 31 goals in all competitions so far this campaign.