Roy of the Rovers leads promotion charge

MEL Aldis is no stranger to Roy of the Rovers antics having led Earl Soham Victoria to victory in the final of the Carlsberg Pub Cup at Wembley Stadium in 2000.

Elvin King

MEL Aldis is no stranger to Roy of the Rovers antics having led Earl Soham Victoria to victory in the final of the Carlsberg Pub Cup at Wembley Stadium in 2000.

But his exploits in lifting Debenham Leisure Centre from junior football in the Metaltec SIL to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League inside six years surely caps the lot.

Saturday's 7-0 victory at March and Halstead's draw at Yarmouth ensured Debenham's promotion along with First Division champions Newmarket Town and runners-up Hadleigh United.


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Aldis has confirmed that he has every intention of carrying on as manager although he wants to spend more time concentrating on playing matters with four new committee members coming onboard in the last week.

“We have our end-of-season dinner on May 15 and until then we are going to enjoy the occasion,” said Aldis.

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“It will then be down to getting ready for next season.”

When Phil Coleman designed improvements to Debenham's ground he ensured it was virtually up to Premier Division status - with only 80 covered standing places to be built to bring things up to a statutory 200.

Coach Peter Grant is expected to stay working with Aldis, but player/assistant manager Ian Gedny could well be moving back to player manage in the SIL next term.

The evergreen Stuart Jopling continues to put the goals away, and he topped the Ridgeons League First Division charts with 32 - with the striker no doubt looking forward to the challenge of finding the net again in the top flight next term.

Six years ago Debenham were in the First Division of the SIL, while neighbouring Diss Town and Stowmarket Town were in the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.

Next season while Debenham are in the top division of East Anglian football, both Diss and Stowmarket will be plying their trade a division under them. Remarkable!

And it's not just at adult level that Debenham LC have excelled with their youngsters winning the Ridgeons Youth League Central Division.

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