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Soham Town Rangers manager looking forward to new challenges after sideways league move



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Soham Town Rangers manager Robbie Mason is keen to embrace the club's lateral league switch.

The Greens have spent the previous 10 seasons as members of the Isthmian League set-up, but it was confirmed yesterday that they would join the Northern League Division One Midlands for 2021/22 as part of a Football Association restructure of non-league football.

It's added more than 500 miles in terms of distance to travel for away matches, though they have retained derby fixtures with Histon and Cambridge City – both of whom have also been relocated – as well as having the likes of Wisbech Town and Yaxley in relatively close proximity.

Robbie Mason is not disappointed with Soham's league switch. Picture: Ben Pooley
Robbie Mason is not disappointed with Soham's league switch. Picture: Ben Pooley

Nevertheless, Mason is looking forward to the challenge of coming up against unknown opposition at new grounds.

"I wouldn't have minded if we'd stayed, but at the same time I'm looking forward to new clubs and new grounds. It's going to be a really good challenge and I cannot wait to get going," he said.

"Some teams might be upset about it but you've just got to roll your sleeves up and get on with it – that's what we'll be doing.

The Greens will welcome new clubs to Julius Martin Lane next season. Picture: Mark Westley
The Greens will welcome new clubs to Julius Martin Lane next season. Picture: Mark Westley

"We've been in the London-based league for a little while so maybe a change will do us some good. It's going to be a test mentally and it seems like the league might be a bit more physical, but we're battlers and grafters so I don't see it being a problem.

"Overall we're not disappointed or upset (to be moving). We'll make the most of it."

One concern going forward centres around the playing squad, and whether or not they will be happy to do the extra journey time.

However, while Mason has conceded a couple may decide it is not for them, he is hopeful that the majority of the group will stick together.

"It may be an issue with some of the lads but I hope not too many. I'd be disappointed to lose any of them," he added.

"Ultimately if you want to progress as a footballer and play as high as you can, travel is part and parcel of that. The more success you have, the further you have to travel to play the better teams.

"The club is looking to put a bus on most weeks so it could actually bring us together as a group. I've had some great away days on the bus, so has Erks (Erkan Okay, assistant) at the level he's played at – that's what football is about.

"The travel will also give us the time to sit down with players and talk through what we want from them, tactically and things like that. In the Isthmian League, with everyone travelling separately, we've not been able to do that because as soon as we arrive it's straight to warm-up."