Council decision seals Sidmouth FC promotion

Back of the net! Champion Vikings are going up

CHAMPIONSHIP winning Sidmouth Town Football Club netted promotion glory on Monday after their civic leader landlords said ‘yes’ to vital ground improvements.

Town councillors were the first to congratulate the side, its management and members, after they unanimously agreed to give the club their blessing over proposed changes to its Manstone Lane home.

“This is excellent news for Sidmouth,” said council chairman Stuart Hughes.

Councillors agreed to pen a letter of congratulation to the club, which landed the Devon and Exeter Premier League this season.

Promotion to the South West Peninsula Football League East Division, the seventh step of the National League system, hinged on whether the club could score permission for a spectator shelter and new footpath on the skate park side of Manstone Lane.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) handed proposals planning permission earlier this month, but town councillors had to rubber-stamp proposals.

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A delighted Sidmouth Town FC spokesperson thanked the council for its support and said: “At long last, after many years of frustration, both on and off the pitch, the club has achieved a long held desire to be able offer local footballers the opportunity to perform at a substantial level.”

Players, dedicated club members, a determined and revamped committee, joint managers Phil Margrett and Paul Ashford, and coach Jason Stiling, were all praised for their efforts.

The future looks bright for Sidmouth football after the club’s second team celebrated consolidating its place in Division Two of the Devon and Exeter League following promotion last year.

The introduction of a Sunday side, to help integrate Junior Vikings players into senior football, was also successful in claiming the Devon Supplementary East Area Cup. A veterans’ over 35s’ team will be launched next season.

Success on the pitch has been matched by increased attendances at games.