Doubts cast over Torbay Sunday Football League
THE FUTURE of the Torbay Sunday Football League remains uncertain as yet another team has withdrawn from the league due to lack of player commitment.
Dog and Duck FC were lying in fifth place, but their withdrawal comes just a month after Plough Inn FC were also forced to leave the league, with both teams struggling for some time to raise full sides.
"It was sad to see the withdrawal of Plough Inn and Dog and Duck," said Secretary of the Torbay Sunday Football League Simon Wallace, "The League has given time and assistance to both clubs to enable them to sign more players but unfortunately to no avail. At this time the League doesn't anticipate this to have any effect on the remaining clubs for the remainder of this season."
The withdrawals have, however, prompted a major shake-up of the league's fixture list, which now has only seven teams taking part. Only two fixtures were scheduled yesterday, both of which were postponed due to the early morning snow and ice. The situation has worried some players and managers, who are keen to see the long-standing league continue into next season.
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"I'm very sad to see Dog and Duck fold. They're a team that have been around for many years," said former Dog and Duck FC goalkeeper Mike Cross, "It's a shame, but Sunday football is slowly going downhill. Fewer teams are entering each year, compared to a few years ago when the league was very competitive. Too many players are slowly losing interest and focusing more on Saturday football, but I really hope the league continues for years to come."
The view was echoed by Amanda Hassall, Club Secretary at league leaders Wheel Power FC.
"The Torbay Sunday League has been running a long time and it would be a shame if it had to fold due to lack of teams," said Ms Hassall, "I'm hoping that there will be some new teams coming into the league next season, and also that we can keep it as the TORBAY Sunday League and not look into merging with the Exeter League. It's hard enough getting players to come to a local pitch on a Sunday morning without having to travel to Exeter!"
Ms Hassall was referring to rumours among players that the league may need to move into an Exeter-based league to maintain the future of Sunday league football in Torbay, a move League Secretary Simon Wallace was quick to refute.
"We are keen to quash any rumours that the Torbay Sunday Football League will be merging with any league, including Exeter and Devon," added Mr Wallace, "At this stage we are in talks with a number of interested clubs who wish to enter a team in the League."
For more information on the Torbay Sunday League or to enter a team for next year, visit www.tsflonline.co.uk.