Friday, July 20, 2012

Club focus - Deeping Rangers

After the Huntingdon game next up for Ely in pre-season is another club from their sister league United Counties and it is another relatively new club who have their roots in Sunday football. This time the Unwin Ground welcomes Deeping Rangers from Market Deeping in Lincolnshire.

Rangers began life in the Peterborough Sunday league in 1964, but moved to one of the city's Saturday leagues 2 years later. They moved to their present ground, Outgang Road in 1985 after missing out on promotion due to inadequate facilities. After a few more years in the Peterborough League they won promotion to the United Counties in 1999. This side included a couple of players who went on to bigger things, Malcolm Christie who played for Middlesbrough and Derby and Ben Wright, who as well as playing in the league for Lincoln represented Viking Stavanger in the UEFA Cup.

Rangers almost pulled off a second promotion in a row in their first season in the United Counties, but they eventually finished third and had to wait until 2001 to take their premier division bow. After following a 10th place finish in their first season with a 5th place in their second they had a mixed few seasons before appointing present manager Tuncay Korkmaz for the 2006-7 season.

He must have done something right, as Rangers set a club record of 28 consecutive unbeaten games. No wonder Tuncay is still leading the team! They went on to win the league, but weren't promoted, although they have stated that their ambition is to play at a higher level. The following season they finished 7th and then followed up with two fourth place finished, before a disappointing 12th in 2010-11. Last season they finished 4th again, which is pretty credible given the amount of budget some teams had in that league last season compared with Rangers.

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