Thetford Town reel from loss of four players

THETFORD Town boss Mark Scott is urgently trying to fill gaps in his squad after the defection of four senior players.

All have moved to Thurlow Nunn League rivals with Bruno Tavares and Volta Rocha joining Diss Town while Martin Carter and Tom Cusack have signed for Norwich United.

Thetford secretary Bob Richards insisted this week that the departures do not indicate any slashing in his own club’s budget – despite the recent decision to pull out of the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League.

The players have, he said, been tempted away by the offer of getting a few pounds extra elsewhere.

“We pay what we can afford, which hasn’t changed,” he said. “Other clubs are obviously paying more, but I don’t know how they are able to splash the cash on the gates they get.

“We’re not in debt. We don’t owe money and we’re never going to owe money. Unfortunately when clubs put in seven day notices of approach it can turn people’s head and it can make it difficult to hold on to players who think the grass is going to be greener.

“What’s disappointing is that we’re doing quite well at the moment, having got into the top division this season.

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“I understand that people have families and can do with a bit of extra money. But for them to jump ship now for another �20 or so is very disappointing.”

One encouraging note for Thetford was the decision of another player who was being sought – Luke Bailey – to reject an approach from Walsham-le-Willows.

Scott has also plugged two of the gaps by signing a pair of players from Lakenheath – centre-back Nathan Birch, formerly of Walsham-le-Willows, and Craig Skipp, who is returning to the club.

Both Richards and Scott admit they have been dismayed by the failure of home crowds to increase following their promotion last season.

But they are hoping for a bumper turn out when they stage their re-arranged Norfolk Senior Cup tie against FA Trophy giant-killers King’s Lynn tomorrow night (Thursday, 7.45pm) – the tie having originally been scheduled for Tuesday.

“The Norfolk Senior Cup means a great deal to us,” said Scott. “We reached the final last year but didn’t give a good account of ourselves and we played Lynn in the semi-finals two years ago and again failed to do ourselves justice – so it’s something we want to put right.”

Thetford, who had no game last weekend, resume Premier Division action at Brantham on Saturday.

Next Tuesday they travel to Wisbech Town in the Thurlow Nunn League Cup.