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Holyport hopeful of promotion under non-league restructure plans

Holyport boss Derek Sweetman (above) is hopeful that by the end of May his side will have a clear and open plan detailing what division they will be competing in next season.

Under FA plans for a restructure of non-league steps 3-5, Port are in line to be promoted from Hellenic League Division 1 East to a new Combined Counties League at step 5 where they would play alongside Windsor and Burnham.

Risborough Rangers and Wokingham & Emmbrook are also set for promotion based on their points-per-game average over the previous two campaigns.

Whether they hit the ground running or not in the new league, Sweetman is optimistic it will be a positive move for the club and said it would be a 'free hit' for them at the level above.

He's looking forward to welcoming new teams, players, and opportunities to the Summerleaze.

“If you look at the big picture, it’s promotion which is great, and one to a Premier Division which is even better,” said Sweetman.

“We may well struggle or we could do really well. Until we get in there and have a go, we don’t really know. It’s a free hit.

“Win, lose, or draw, if we stay up or go down, it doesn’t really matter. This will be a completely new environment for us and if we do get relegated, we get sent down to a league we know everything about.

“Having looked at the Combined Counties and how they deal with matters, it’s always well run. The clubs involved know about everything early and the league’s communication is excellent. I think that has sometimes been a bit lacking further down the Hellenic League.”

Holyport have until Monday to decide whether or not they are going to take up the offer, while ground arrangements and improvement works to make the step up are set to be discussed at a club board meeting today (Thursday).

“I’m hopeful that by the end of the coming month, Holyport will have a very clear and open plan about who they are going to play and what grounds they are going to visit,” added Sweetman.

“We will then be able to start thinking about whether or not we have the right players to compete at this level or if we need to go and recruit some more.”

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