'Opporunity knocks' for Ottery St Mary

PUBLISHED: 10:27 15 March 2019

Ottery 1st team away at Budleigh 2nds. Ref shsp 09 19TI 1000903. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery 1st team away at Budleigh 2nds. Ref shsp 09 19TI 1000903. Picture: Terry Ife

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Ottery St Mary are very much part of the thinking with regard to the new Step Seven League that is being formed to start in August.

The Otters are one of 39 clubs that will be considered for what are 32 slots in the new league, which will comprise of two divisions.

Two of the 39 clubs, Kingskerswell & Cheslton, Chaddlewood Miners Old Boys, are on a ‘stand-by’ list.

It would be quite a step up for the Otters, who are the lowest currently ranked side to apply. Others from the Macron League to have applied are Premier Division teams Clyst Valley, Topsham Cronies, Exmouth Town Reserves, Exwick Villa, Feniton, Heavitree United, Newtown and Witheridge, along with Division One Kentisbeare and the Otters, who are currently in Division Three.

Ground and facilities are very much part of the criteria teams need to satisfy for inclusion in the new league.

Ottery boss Dave Fairweather says: “This is a real opportunity for us to move onwards and upwards in terms of the football pyramid and I know it is something very dear to chairman Mike Ringers’ ‘bigger picture’ planning for club. I support this bid 100 per cent and see it as a very real opportunity for talented local footballers to seize the moment and grab the opportunity to play at a higher level for a football club that really believes in being a ‘home town club’.”

What Ottery are now very keen to do is attract all manner of ‘off-field’ additional helpers and anyone who would like to be involved in this exciting phase of development at the club is asked to get in touch with Fairweather on 07791 774706 or contact the club via their Facebook page.

(You can read a more detailed report on the bid for Step Seven status at www.sidmouthherald.co.uk)

There’s no action tomorrow (Saturday) for the Otters, but they have a big cup tie on Sunday when they will try again to play Seaton Town in the Morrison Bell Cup. The fixture is set to be played on the artificial surface at Axminster Town with kick-off being noon.

Ottery boss Fairweather says of the challenge: “It’s a ‘free hit’ for us in as much as we are going to be underdogs as we are taking on a Premier Division side. However, I am confident that if we focus on what we do best then we will get the result we want. One thing is sure, this is a real opportunity for the players to show us that they are good enough to step up. Given that eight of the current Macron League top flight sides are amongst the clubs looking to play at Step Seven, this cup tie is a case of opportunity knocking for our players and I expect them to show us what they are all about.”

There is home action on Sunday for the Ottery ladies, who entertain Plymouth-based Signal Box Frankfort in a Devon Women’s League match that kicks off at 2pm. Also in Sunday action are the Ottery Under-18s, who are at Exmouth Town (2pm).

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