Upottery all set for their big first game in the Macron Premier Division

John Moore of JKM School of Motoring hands over warm up top to first team skipper Mark Tucker. John

John Moore of JKM School of Motoring hands over warm up top to first team skipper Mark Tucker. John Moore has generously provided warm up tops for both teams at Upottery FC. - Credit: Archant

Upottery make a little piece of village footballing history on Saturday when they play their first ever match in the top flight of the Macron Devon and Exeter League.

The rise and rise of the village side is truly remarkable. After three successive promotions Upottery will travel to Heavitree United on Saturday (August 20) to lock horns with the Exeter side and boss Dan Prettejohn is not taking his team up simply to be the whipping boys – far from it!

After a Monday night 12-2 win in a hastily arranged warm-up game with Millwey Rise, Prettejohn said: “We have come a long way, but for me the development and improvement does not stop because we have reached the top division. I now want us to become an established top flight club and be amongst the challengers for the silverware. Some people might think that is too bold a statement, but we look at Honiton Town as being the bench mark. They, like us, stepped up last season and almost won the title. Now, I am not saying we are going to win it, but we are in it to win it, as they say, and if anyone does take us lightly then it’ll be at their peril.”

Upottery have their first home game next Monday (August 22) when they host Seaton Town at Glebe Park and Prettejohn says: “I am happy with the two games in quick succession as it means we are getting an early taste of how life is going to be. In recent seasons we have got away with not being at our best and treating some games with distain. That won’t cut it this term. No way, we need to be going into every game treating it as a cup final and my side have always delivered in semi-finals and finals when it has counted. They’ve not won all of them, but not once have they let us down when it really mattered.”

Glebe Park is ready to stage the first game on Monday night. The groundsman also happens to be one of the main sponsors of the club – The Sidmouth Arms – and landlord Nigel Wyatt also looks after the village cricket ground!

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Wyatt, like Prettejohn, is a long-serving club member having played for the villagers and subsequently been involved in all sorts of areas with these days his responsibility being with the playing surface. “It’s in as good a shape as it’s ever been and I would say it’s ready to be played on by the top sides at our level,” says Wyatt, who, along with the likes of Merv Sawyer, Phil Joyce and Mike Kellow, will be following the village side home and away in the coming season.

There’s no doubt that the success story that is Upottery Football Club is set to continue.

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The final word before the first ball is kicked goes to Prettejohn who says: “There’s been a lot of work put into getting us to this point and from here the journey must go on.”

That historic first home game sees East Devon neighbours Seaton Town visit Glebe Park on Monday next (August 22).

Kick-off is 6.30pm and there is no charge to watch.

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