The Spalding Sunday Football League returns this weekend with four fixtures and a new-look line-up.
Leaving the league this year are Lutton, Sutton St James, Hole In The Wall, Fenway and Gosberton, with Punchbowl Tigers, Brennans Sports, Swineshead Institute Reserves and Mulberry all stepping in.
That means the league has just ten teams as opposed to last year’s 11, but the man that guided Pinchbeck United Sunday to glory last season reckons it’ll be just as strong.
Tom Roberts, who is player/boss of the the defending champions, believes his side will start favourites to make it back-to-back titles.
He’s added Punchbowl Panthers hot-shot Ryan Wheeler and former Pinchbeck United (Saturday) left sider Danny Maddison to an already impressive squad that cruised to the title by 17 points last year after winning 19 and drawing the other of their 20 matches.
Keeper Roberts does think that new boys Swineshead and Brennans (who were Fenway last year) will provide the biggest test to his ‘Sunday ballers’.
But he is now focusing on making a bit of history on the county scene, as Pinchbeck bid to become to first side from the Spalding league to win the Lincolnshire Sunday Cup.
“I can see the league being quite similar to last year if I’m honest,” said Roberts, who also plays for Spalding United on a Saturday. “I’m sure we’ll be expected to win the league again.
“Saying that, Swineshead will offer something different and could be strong. I’m also expecting Brennans to be strong – they could surprise a few people.
“One thing we’re looking at is trying to do better in the cups this year.
“No team from the Spalding league has ever won the Lincolnshire Sunday Cup, so we’ll be going all out for that one.
“But overall it’s just great that the league is still going strong. It gives us a chance to go out and play football on a Sunday and run off those hangovers!”
Pinchbeck start the defence of their crown at home to Punchbowl Tigers. The other games are as follows (all 10.30am): Mulberry v Swineshead Institute Sunday, Murrow Bell v Spalding Sea End Wanderers and Sutton Bridge Sunday v Punchbowl Panthers.