Kick off getting closer
Saturday sees the season underway
We spring back into action this week after a dramatic close season but the trials and tribulations are not over yet. Saturdays original programme has already been hit for various reasons, but as always on day one hopefully there will still be plenty of action and excitement.
Cllubs have voted in favour of returning to the old constitution of one Premier division then Divisions 1-9, with last seasons East and West area split now aborted. Our League officials have had to work overtime to get the train back on the rails so to speak, but all is set for last seasons lockdown to have ended.
Premier West champions and Throgmorton Champions Lapford and Premier East champions Lyme Regis will meet up again later this season, but Premier has been reduced from its expected maximum 16 teams, to 13 teams after withdrawals by Seaton Town, Upottery, Whipton & Pinhoe and with Feniton moving on to higher pastures. Lyme are set to visit Dawlish this weekend but Lapford start their defence at Okehampton on tuesday.
There are quite a few new clubs and new reserve teams but sadly to balance that there have been a number of shock withdrawals recently, with many clubs forced to fold their first XI.
Of the new faces Uplyme have made the crossing from the Perry Street League to us and this will be their first ever season in this League although they have a history going back nearly 100 years and have sometimes been involved in cup competitions. Uplyme start in Division 6 and make their debut at home to Broadclyst.
In the same division St Thomas Social Club have made a re-appearance some 36 years since they last had a team in that name within the League.
The Heart of Oak from Pinhoe start their first ever campaign and have been placed in Division 8 and begin with a real derby clash against Whipton & Pinhoe which in turn is now their first team following their decision to withdraw their Premier side.
Chudleigh Athletic have entered their Development team, which is loosely their fourth team, which means they have a side back in the Exeter League after a gap of some 67 years. In 1964 Chudleigh finished fourth in Junior 1 West and were beaten finalists in the Football Express cup, but have operated in the SDL since then where they still have membership. Chudleigh have been allotted a place in Division 9.
Also in the same division Ex Dons who are based at the Archery club make their debut as do South Zeal Reserves which is the first time the village has ever operated with two teams.
The League wishes everyone a prosperous season.
Wednesday 18th August 2021