Fresha AGM set to consider welcoming as many as 14 new team!
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The Fresha Devon and Exeter Football League has received a number of new club applications, writes Steve Birley.
To date six new teams, Ashwater, Cranbrook, Exmouth Spartans, Millwey Rise, Polonia, Stoke Arms, have applied and will have their bids to join the league heard at the annual general meeting that is being held at America Hall , Pinhoe next Friday (June 12).
In addition to the new teams there are five reserve teams from; Kentisbeare, Lyme Regis, Millwey Rise, Upottery, Whipton and Pinhoe as well as three third teams from Axminster Town, Honiton Town and Witheridge.
Such are the numbers of clubs applying for membership to the Fresha League that a ninth division may well be formed – much of that will depend on what happens at the AGM next week.
Locally Ottery St Mary run two side’s in the league with the Washbrook Meadow senior team looking to start next season in Division Five after their Division Six title-winning season. Sidmouth Town also field two teams in the league and Otterton have one.
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To date there have been only three withdrawals from last year’s playing clubs; Newtown 3rds, Alphington 4ths and Moretonhampstead Res.
One of the reasons for a glut of new teams bidding to enter is the fact that locally the Under-16 age group this season has plenty of players who are looking to continue their football experience and, at the moment there is no Under-17 football with players of that age only having the option of County Under-18 football (played on a Sunday).
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There is a floodlit league that some players in the area can migrate too, though that is the Somerset Youth Floodlit League in which Tiverton Town, Willand Rovers, Elmore and Cullompton Rangers all play in.
East Devon-based youth player Tom Badcott (Ottery St Mary) and Otterton-based Josh Mclean, are two such youngsters who were part of an all-conquering Willand Rovers Under-16 team in the Taunton and District League last season and, with the Mid Devon Club having a bid to join the Floodlit league next season, are quite likely to be playing Monday nights under floodlights at Silver Street.