Long Melford boss looking forward to club’s first ever campaign in Thurlow Nunn Premier

Jules Mumford

Jules Mumford - Credit: James Ager

Long Melford manager Jules Mumford will take heart from the performances of Ipswich Wanderers and Whitton United as he prepares the Villagers for their first ever season in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

Champions Melford earned promotion in May and will pit their wits against the likes of champions Norwich United and the aforementioned Ipswich duo.

Wanderers and Whitton reached the Premier Division in 2014, the latter winning the title and both sides held their own last term, finishing in mid-table.

“I look at Wanderers and Whitton as a benchmark,” said Mumford.

“They really were excellent when they went up and both managed to finish mid-table last season, while Whitton reached the Premier Cup final. If we can achieve what they did I will be more than happy.

“I watched a couple of games last season – the League Cup final and Hadleigh versus Stanway and the quality is very good.

“We are going to be underdogs but that will suit us and we really have nothing to lose.

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“We will have to be more organised and I imagine if we make mistakes in the Premier Division we will be punished more for them.

“I am sure we will be on the end of a few heavy defeats if we are not organised, but hopefully we can make a good start and the fixtures will be kind to us.”

Melford start pre-season on June 23 and Mumford is happy with the initial response he has received from last term’s squad.

“The signing forms are not out yet but I seem to have pretty much retained the majority of last season’s squad,” added Mumford, who revealed key player Jamie Griffiths is likely to stay with the club, despite interest from elsewhere.

“Everyone seems really committed, while I have been talking to two or three players who have agreed to train with us.

“Talks are ongoing with a few players and I think experience next season will be key.”

Mumford is looking forward to next season, but confessed he was happy to put football on the back-burner for a while after the promotion campaign.

“I was absolutely shattered after the title run-in, every minute of every day I was tied up with football.

“Come the end of the season I did not talk about football for three or four weeks.”

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