There may be risks attached, but manager Kevin Sobiechowski believes Lakenheath must grab the chance to become members of the Thurlow Nunn League with both hands, writes Liam Apicella.
It was confirmed to The Journal last week that as part of widespread changes to the non-league structure, the Thurlow Nunn League planned to split its First Division into two leagues — North and South.
Each league will contain at least 16 teams, with clubs in the likes of the Kershaw Premier Division, Suffolk & Ipswich League Premier Division, Anglian Combination Premier Division and the Essex and Suffolk Border League Premier Division all given the opportunity to apply to make the jump from Step 7 to 6.
One of those declaring their interest in making the leap is Sobiechowski’s Lakenheath, who currently occupy eighth place in the Kershaw top flight.
The Suffolk club will have to make a few minor improvements to their ground at The Pit by May 31, with the other work — such as floodlight installation — having to be completed by the summer of 2020.
Sobiechowski, who was part of the Mildenhall Town squad that earned promotion from Step 6 to 5 in 1999, said: “We are a village club that has over achieved in recent years.
“We have a committee of seven or eight people and it is going to be tough to run a Thurlow Nunn club like that.
“It means people will have to take on extra responsibility and we have already had a positive meeting with regard to all of that.
“It is a massive risk for a club our size, but we have wanted to go up for so long so we have to take it.
“There are little bits of work that need doing between now and the summer, but we do not anticipate that being a problem.
“And in terms of the number of games we will play, it should be not be much more than we play now.
“There are still things to be sorted, but it is an exciting time.”
As their league position suggests, it has been a disappointing campaign for Lakenheath on the pitch.
However, they showed their quality on Saturday with a 4-0 win over league-leading Brampton — a performance that left Sobiechowski convinced there is enough quality in the squad to compete at a higher level.
“The gap between the leagues is not what it used to be,” added the boss, who has been in charge for six years.
“I am confident every player in the squad can play at least one level higher.
“There is always a reason why they drop to our level, be it travelling, not wanting to play midweek games or wanting to play with mates.
“I also feel we would attract some good players.”