Ryman League leaders Leiston revise their promotion ambitions

LEADERS Leiston have revised their ambitions following promotion to Ryman League Division One North.

The Suffolk side, who are two points clear at the top, two-thirds of the way through the season, are now setting their sights on promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division at the first attempt.

Chairman Andy Crisp admitted that the success of Mark Morsley’s side in their first season at Step 4 level, following promotion from the Ridgeons League last season, had prompted a rethink.

He said: “When we initially spoke to Mark we said a good season for us would be to finish runners-up and then lose in the play-offs.

“However, we are now going to give it a real go and see if we can make it to the next level, although how it will affect us in the longer term if we are successful we don’t know.

“We had a two-year plan to win promotion and we are on target to achieve that.”

Crisp said Leiston had applied for two grants to assist with work which will need to be carried out to bring the club’s Victory Road ground up to Grade D standard should they win promotion.

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“We have to totally fence in the main pitch, to give more of a stadium environment, and also to improve the roadway all the way from Victory Road up to the clubhouse.”

Crisp said that the total cost of the work would be �30,000, with 50 per cent of the cost covered by the two grants.

“We have already budgeted this season to cover the remaining cost of the work, and vice-chairman Peter Mayhew and secretary David Rees have been working very hard to make it all come together.”

Upgrading of the ground will need to be completed by March 31.

Crisp said: “Without wishing to tempt fate, we are almost certain to at least be in the play-offs, which is an amazing achievement by the manager, coaching staff and players. A lot of credit also goes to my committee, who worked really hard in the close season and early part of the season.”

Crisp said Leiston had been impressed by the way the Ryman League is run, although he is disappointed that attendances are only up by around 15 per cent from an average of 148 to 165.

“Since we have been top we have had very few home games, so hopefully interest will increase up to the end of the season,” added Crisp.

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