9:00am Saturday 7th July 2012
By Ian Morgan
HEREFORD Lads Club will be playing at the leisure centre next season after their home ground failed to measure up.
West Midlands League spokesman Neil Juggins said the pitch length at the County Ground was four metres too short.
Lads Club will be remaining in Division Two, said Juggins.
He said: “Lads Club had been asked 12 months ago to make improvements to their ground to satisfy league criteria.
“We came down to inspect the County Ground and Lads Club were warned to get the problem sorted or faced being kicked out of the competition.
“To satisfy league requirements, all pitches have to be a minimum of 100 metres by 64 metres.
“The width is OK but the length of the pitch is about four metres short. They can’t play junior football on the ground.
“Lads Club have come back to us and have decided to play on the Racecourse, sharing the facility with another local team.”
He added: “If Lads Club want to move up to Division One they will have to have some sort of covered accommodation for supporters.”
Bartestree and Ledbury Town have joined Division Two, leaving the Herefordshire League Premier Division.
Ledbury Town have rejoined the West Midlands League set-up after quitting on the eve of the new season two years ago.
Town won the Herefordshire League Premier Division title on the final day of last term.
“We are delighted to have Ledbury Town back,” said Juggins. “Their set-up is similar to two years ago but they have done a lot of improvements to their ground and infrastructure.”
Bartestree have also been accepted and it will be their first foray into regional senior football.
There will be 18 teams in Division Two, including Malvern Rangers.
Juggins said: “We received support from the Herefordshire Senior League who have not stood in the way of Bartestree or Ledbury.
“They have also been encouraging.
“We will be very interested to see how the two clubs get on.”
No teams were relegated from the Premier Division and the 22-strong section will include Herefordshire trio Wellington, Pegasus Juniors and Bromyard Town.
However, Wolverhamptonbased Goodrich have withdrawn from the league after a ground problem.
Leominster Town will be playing in an 18-team Division One.
Juggins said the West Midlands League programme will be kicking off on August 4.
“The first qualifying round of the FA Cup is on August 11 and, with 10 clubs from the Premier Division involved, they need competitive football.
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