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Haverhill Rovers chairman Tony Jordan on the club’s relegation to the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North being confirmed this week





Haverhill Rovers chairman Tony Jordan says the club will be aiming to bounce straight back up after their relegation to the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North was confirmed this week.

After finishing in a second bottom 19th place in the Premier Division this term, Rovers needed a reprieve to avoid dropping out of the Thurlow Nunn League’s top flight and into Step 6 football for the first time since 2007.

Monday saw the FA released the National League System clubs allocation for Steps 1-6 and, subject to FA Council ratification, Rovers feature in a 21-team First Division North line-up for the 2023/24 season.

Samuel Adeitba is a player Haverhill Rovers will be looking to keep hold of for their promotion push in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North next season Picture: Mark Bullimore
Samuel Adeitba is a player Haverhill Rovers will be looking to keep hold of for their promotion push in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North next season Picture: Mark Bullimore

“We expected to be relegated to Step 6 as we finished in 19th place,”Jordan said.

“It’s not a surprise, but obviously we would have hoped to have some sort of reprieve.

“It’s one of those things that’s out of our hands and there isn’t one, so we will try our best to bounce straight back up next season.

“We’re excited for the year ahead and it’s all about consistency now and getting results.

“We want to be bouncing back to Step 5. We know it’s not going to be a walk in the park and it’s not going to be easy.

“We’ll give it our best shot to try and stay here for one season and get back to Step 5. That’s the plan.”

Rovers’ 16-year stay in the Premier Division came under threat having started the 2022/23 season without a win in their first 14 league games, during a period which saw manager Liam Aves step down only a month into the campaign.

Marc Benterman was appointed in late October and, while performances improved, the run of wins needed did not materialise until the very end, as Rovers tasted victory in six of their last eight games to finish six points adrift of safety.

“Marc did a great job last season,” Jordan said. “We finished really strongly and we won six of our last eight and if we can keep the consistency going into the start of next season we’ll be going into it pretty strong.

“As a club we’ve been in the Premier Division for a good few years. The season just gone we were 19th and the season before 17th.

“Maybe it’s a case of taking a step back. We’re a community club and we want the community to see good football.

“When you’re getting beaten and you’re in the relegation zone the excitement comes out of it a little bit for the supporters.

“Hopefully we can start to build the support up for the club and get the numbers up again.

“Our aspirations are still to be a Step 4 club. We’ve lost a year in reaching that, but we’ve got the facilities that warrant us playing at a high level.”

Meanwhile, Haverhill Borough are also confirmed to be in the First Division North again next season.