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Burwell & Exning seeking season of consolidation in Division One after back-to-back promotions

There is a belief at Burwell & Exning that they belong in the Oynx League Division One – and now they have a chance to prove it.

The club has been on the up over the last couple of years after the decision was taken in the winter of 2022 to withdraw from the Thurlow Nunn East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) due to a raft of player departures.

They dropped down to Division Three, but back-to-back promotions since then has seen the club return to a level in which they feel comfortable.

Burwell & Exning have enjoyed back-to-back promotions. Picture: Burwell & Exning
Burwell & Exning have enjoyed back-to-back promotions. Picture: Burwell & Exning

Ahead of their opening game of 2024 away at Wisbech Town on Saturday (20 April), captain Paul Summerskill said: “We had some bad times around the stage where we pulled out of the East Anglian Premier League.

“We dropped down a few leagues but everyone rallied together. We’ve enjoyed the back-to-back promotions and what we’ve managed to build is a really good atmosphere.

“We were never more than a mid-level side in the Premier League and some years we struggled, but what the last couple of seasons has allowed all of our teams to do is get used to winning.

“We’ve got some lads in the group that haven’t played as high as this level and others that have played in the Premier League, so there is a good mix.

“As a group we think we’re good enough to be at this level and now we’ve got the chance.”

Yet while Summerskill is confident that Burwell & Exning will prove that they belong in Division One over the course of the next few months, he is also aware that it will be his side’s toughest campaign since the withdrawal from the EAPL.

He added: “It’s going to be a different ball game and the lads know the competition is going to be much stronger.

“We want to consolidate this year and prove we should be in this league.

“If we can finish mid-table then that would be great – anything more would be a big bonus.”

Batsman Tom Griffiths has returned to the club over the winter after a spell with fellow Division One outfit Histon, while Australian Ben Kelly is once again the overseas player, having also held that role last season.

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