Framlingham Town face big FA Vase challenge away at Thetford Town

Mel Aldis

Mel Aldis

Framlingham Town face their biggest challenge as a Thurlow Nunn League side to date today when they travel to Premier Division high-flyers, Thetford Town, in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Vase.

The Castlemen have enjoyed a solid start to life in the Eastern Counties set-up, having successfully applied for promotion from the SIL League last season.

They are currently third in the First Division, having taken 16 points from their opening seven games of the season and are three points behind leaders, Coggeshall.

“I am pleased with the start but it’s a case of keeping our feet on the floor now,” said long-serving manager, Mel Aldis.

“We have only played one team in the current top-eight and without being disrespectful to other teams, we will probably have a better idea in around six weeks time where we are as a team.

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“Whatever happens though we are establishing ourselves in this division.”

Framlingham got off to a flyer in their new surroundings, defeating King’s Lynn Reserves 6-1 in their opening game and Aldis said that set the tone for what followed.

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“We were 5-0 up after 30 minutes and in a way, that set the standard,” Aldis added.

“That first victory made everyone believe.”

Framlingham’s appearance in today’s Vase game will represent just their second, the team having been knocked out at the First Round stage in 2010-11.

“Realistically we are not going to win the Vase but we would like to go through a couple of rounds and we could have had an easier draw that Thetford away,” explained the Castlemen’s boss.

“Playing in the Vase is all part of what the club wants to do though.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to the SIL, but we are going to nicer grounds now, although I would not say the standard of football is much different.

“Off the pitch, it’s a bit more professional and we are aspiring to become established like Diss and Woodbridge, because we have lived in their shadows for too long.”

Asked about the club’s targets for this season, Aldis said: “We play Thetford and Coggeshall in our next two games and if we can come out of them with any credit then we can move on and have a decent season.

“I think it will be tough to make the top-three though.”

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