A local flavour for Sidmouth Town next season
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Town can now add a massive local derby to their football calendar for the new season in the South-West Peninsula League.
The promotion of Ottery St Mary and Okehampton Argyle has come after a restructure of divisions by the FA, with many local fans understandably looking forward to a cracking derby between the Vikings and the Otters.
It will provide two very exciting games for both clubs but the restructure has thrown up some questions and challenges.
“It has been a talking point and I’ve spoken to a few people with mixed feelings,” said Sidmouth manager Danny Burwood. “For me personally, I would obviously much rather go to Ottery than Ilfracombe, because the travelling is a major factor.
“It is a good thing for the local area to have more teams from East Devon and it will naturally mean a bit more support in certain games.
“There are some who believed that, due to Covid, there would be no promotion or relegation this season, but the FA restructure has obviously seen Ottery and Okehampton Argyle join the Peninsula League, with other clubs being promoted to the Western League.
“The East Division will now have 20 clubs, with 18 in the Peninsula West, so there will be a lot of games to play.
“I think Feniton have also been promoted to the Devon Football League, so there has obviously been a massive restructure and it seems like a big emphasis on clubs with a certain grading at their grounds being pushed up the pyramid.
“Whether a team wins a league or not, the restructure has happened, and there will be some teams that miss out due to facilities.
“Personally, I think it’s great to have more local teams in the league. Sidmouth and Ottery have always gone together, and I actually started my career at Ottery.
“They have always been a big club and it’s great news for East Devon. Billy Rouse (Ottery manager) is a good manager and he deserves to be coaching a team at this level.”