Football:St Lawrence on the brink

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Formed in 1919, the flybe Combination Division II club currently have only 19 signings to fill two teams for the forthcoming season and with eight of those players due to return to university in September the parish club’s days of playing league football are under real threat.Secretary and team boss Ian Watts, a stalwart of St Lawrence for 40 years, said: ‘The club has less than two weeks to sort ourselves out, but I really don’t know if it will because I don’t know where we are going to get the players from.’People don’t come to the Island and stay like they used to while others who feel they can’t get into one or two clubs they just turn their back on the game.

I thank that’s really sad.We’ve had two training sessions for the forthcoming season and there’s been eight who have attended and that includes my three sons and myself.’We’re in a desperate position and I appeal to any player who has not signed for a club and who wants a game of football to come and join us and help us out.

The future does not look rosy at all and I’m deeply concerned for the club.’Watts, who also turns out for the team regularly, added: ‘Last season was tough but I couldn’t walk away.

I think I can now.’It’s got to a point now where I feel that players feel clubs owe them something.

Many don’t want to train anymore and if there’s a game on the television on a Saturday lunchtime they’d sooner watch the game and then stay in the pub all afternoon.’I really don’t understand it; it would never have happened in my day.’Watts also believes that certain players won’t turn out for a parish club because they are not fashionable.

He says that if players can’t get in at one or two clubs they turn their backs on the game completely.Watts added: ‘I think it’s time the Combination put a restriction on the maximum number of senior players a club can sign, just like they do with the juniors.

It helps the juniors go round to other clubs so I think it would be a good idea for the seniors to do the same as well.’I don’t want to see St Lawrence fold.

We have a long history and I appeal to any players who want to play for the club and not those who want to watch football on the telly to get in touch and help us out.’Flybe Combination president Tim Darwin said: ‘I hope St Lawrence can sort themselves out, it would be a very sad day if they withdrew from the League.’I’m sure there are players out there that want to play for them and I hope they come forward to help out.’Combination rules allow for a club to run just one team.

However, if they gain promotion to Division I they must then run a second string as well.

So if St Lawrence get a sufficient number of signings they can still play in Division II.Darwin added: ‘We’ve just increased to 20 teams with Jersey Nomads joining and I hope we can stay at that number.

As to a restriction on the number of signings at clubs- that is something that can be discussed.’Anyone wanting a game of football for St Lawrence can turn up to training tomorrow night at St Lawrence FC at 6.30.

Training also takes place on Tuesday evenings at the same time.

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