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Appeal To FA For Hellenic Move - 8 June

The Hereford Times report four of Hereford’s leading football clubs are joining forces to try to force a move away from the Midlands leagues to the Hellenic League.

Herefordshire sides have traditionally had to travel to clubs based around Birmingham and the Black Country when climbing up the non-league pyramid. But Westfields, Pegasus, Wellington and Lads Club now want to play in the Hellenic Football League which covers teams from counties such as Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. The four Herefordshire clubs had hoped to have been moved within the Hellenic system for the forthcoming season when the Football Association set about rearranging the non-league pyramid last month. However, the sides were told they were to remain within the Midland League set-up – and now all four have launched a joint appeal to go south.

Andy Morris, Westfields' chief executive, said they had enjoyed the challenge of playing in the Midland Football League but felt that now was the time to move on. In a letter to the Football Association outlining Westfields’ reasons for the appeal, Morris said: "As the FA are trying to reorganise the leagues geographically, we would like to point out we are becoming more and more remote in our position in Hereford at step five with our current position in the Midland Football League where more clubs are being introduced from the East Midlands making most away matches in the league 200-plus mile round trips. Our geographical position and membership in the Midland Football League is hampering our progression in trying to attract players to travel and maintain standards at the 11 v 11 game.”

Morris told the Hereford Times that he hoped the clubs' joint appeal would give them ‘strength in numbers’ and increase their chances of success.

For Pegasus director Chris Wells, the practical value of making what would be a return to the Hellenic League for the Old School Lane club, are clear to see. "It's governed by travelling for us," he said."It's much easier to get to Oxford-based clubs than it is to those in the Black Country, especially in midweek."

Lads Club player-manager Danny Moon underlined how difficult it was for players to travel after work in midweek. "Players just don't want to travel in midweek when they are working," he said. There are not so many clubs in the Hellenic League so there are not so many midweek games - and a lot of the clubs in the division we would go into are based around Swindon and Cheltenham."

This was a point underlined by Wellington boss Gary Stevens. "There are fewer teams so fewer midweek fixtures," said the former Hereford United striker. And not so many teams in the Hellenic League ground-share as in the West Midlands League, which can make a big difference in a bad winter."

Ian Morris Hereford Times

 

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