Emley AFC have secured promotion at last – without kicking a ball!

Table-toppers Emley have been consistent over the last two seasons but have been denied promotion as the campaigns have been curtailed due to the pandemic.

This season Emley topped the Northern Counties West League Division One with eight wins and two draws from the opening 10 matches but feared they might miss out again.

However, a league restructure has come to their rescue and a points-per-game analysis almost certainly means promotion to the Premier division for next season.

Emley AFC chairman Andrew Painten said: “We wanted to win promotion the ‘normal’ way but nobody can take anything away from the lads – they have done more than enough over two seasons to secure the elevation.

Quiet satisfaction for Emley chairman Andrew Painten. Pic by: Mark Parsons

“Huge congratulations to our players led by captain Jamie Price as well as our management team of Richard Tracey, Steve Nicholson, Richard Batley and Tom Claisse on their achievement.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to our brilliant team of volunteers who continue to work tirelessly under the most difficult of circumstances. This achievement also belongs to every single one of them for their dedication and incredible support.”

Mr Painten also had special thanks for the club’s sponsors who had backed the club through some tough times for business.

Andy Nicholson at Hortor, Andy Hobson at Fantastic Media and Rob Dixon at Wm Sykes had been “unwavering” in their support, he said.

Mr Painten also thanked the supporters for their patience and loyalty and said: “So many near misses but, finally, we did it! We will find the time to celebrate when we can in future.”

Although there is now an application process to go through to confirm promotion, given Emley’s record on-the-field and the solid foundations off-the-field, the club believe this is a formality – as is the rubber-stamping of the FA Council.

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