Step 5 Football returns to Newark for next season.
Newark FC is back in the district with a new name and new ground under the leadership of former Football League Club chairman Steff Wright.
Successful Collingham businessman Wright, who served as director and chairman of Lincoln City FC for ten years, has found a new name for Newark FC from Newark and Sherwood United and a new home at Collingham FC.
The aim of the game is now to encourage fans, who were put off by the extra time it took to travel home to Basford, and to recruit talented footballers to pursue their careers elsewhere.
Driven out of town by the loss of their Lowfields site to a property developer, Newark FC have played home games in Basford, more than 20 miles away.
Travel time impacted the fan base but those days are a thing of the past after chairman Wright negotiated the deal on Saturday with Central Midlands Football League’s Collingham, who will benefit from improvements to his Station Road site, which will house a grandstand will include.
Wright, whose ambitions extend to professionals and a stadium within the district, said the move would be beneficial for Newark as well as Sherwood United and Collingham FC.
Newark and Sherwood United said in a statement: “With the support of our chairman and our volunteers at Collingham FC, step five football returns to Newark and Sherwood for the 2022/23 season.”
Newark FC, nicknamed The Highwaymen, has undergone four name changes since its inception about a century ago as the Worthington Simpsons, then IDP Newark, before moving on to Newark Flowserve and then Newark FC.
And there’s news from the dugout, too, as former Newark Town manager Nathan Arnold, who the Advertiser recently reported wanted to test his skills at Level 5, takes the reins.
In a short tenure in Newark Town, ex-pro Arnold promoted the Blues from the Central Midlands League North to the United Counties League Division One in a single season.
Newark and Sherwood United said: “Newark and Sherwood United are delighted to announce Nathan Arnold as their new manager.
“Nathan will bring his backroom staff, including Dennis Rhule, who will continue in his role as assistant.
“Having led Newark Town to promotion last season, Nathan is keen to continue his association with Steff Wright.
“The opportunity at Step 5 and this new project aligns with both his and the club’s future ambitions.
“The club would like to thank Paul Rawdon for stepping in to help keep the club alive in the second half of this season and we wish him well at his next club.”
Arnold said: “I’m looking forward to building on the success we’ve had.
“Being part of this new chapter is exciting and an opportunity to advance football in the district.
“Our ethos is to create opportunities for local players who are currently playing further afield. I’m also happy for the fans who can now see Step 5 football closer to home.”