Under new management

After successive title wins for the under-18 and women's squads, Norfolk's representative sides are readying themselves for the start of their 2010-11 campaigns – and Norfolk FA is encouraging football supporters from across the county to support their bids to make it a hat-trick.

First up for the U18 side is the East Anglian Counties encounter with Bedfordshire FA on Saturday at Dereham Town's Aldiss Park (2pm).

A fortnight later the lads travel to Dorset as they bid to progress in the FA County Youth Cup, with the game being played at the County Ground, Hamworthy (12pm).

Newly appointed U18 manager Ian Thornton said: 'I'm really looking forward to the challenge.

'The selection for this year's U18 squad has been very rewarding, interesting and somewhat challenging at times.

'We have held two main trials for clubs based in the east and west of the county, with more than 50 players nominated from local clubs, college programmes or players I have worked with at Norwich City over the years.

'I would like to officially thank many of the team managers at senior and youth team level, together with additional contacts across the county, whose communication to recommend and monitor players has and will continue to be very helpful.

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'It is my intention to try to work with them as much as possible throughout the season.'

Norfolk Women kick-off their season on Thursday, October 21, when they take on Essex FA.

The game is also being played at Aldiss Park (7.45pm).

The women's squad will also be overseen by a new management duo, in the shape of Darren Lovell and Hayley Collison.

Chairman of the Norfolk FA representative match committee, Stuart Dracup, said: 'The 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons were very successful for our two squads.

'Both won their respective East Anglian Counties' championships in successive years but, more importantly, the players proved that results can be achieved by being very competitive while respecting the laws of the game.

'To achieve a hat-trick of championships will be a tall order for the two new management teams and players, indeed our opponents will be doing their best to prevent it.

'However, everybody is excited at the prospect of a very interesting and challenging season of representative football.'