Shock as St Neots chairman Kearns axes reserve team
ST NEOTS Town chairman Mike Kearns is promising “something that will please everyone” after the shock axing of the club’s reserve team late last week.
Talking exclusively to the Hunts Post, Kearns said he very was sorry he had been forced to end the team’s activities midway through a season but that what will come next will be better for both St Neots Town and the wider community.
“It was a situation I inherited and I should have changed things over the summer. I should have followed my business head,” he said.
“The infrastructure of the reserves was falling apart.
“Going forward we will be announcing something that will please everyone.
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“It was a tough thing to do but it wasn’t a hard decision to make.”
Kearns announced the end of the reserve team on the club’s website on Thursday evening, saying in a statement: “It is with regret that St Neots Town FC is no longer in a position to support a reserve team within the current football structure at the club and as such is withdrawing the reserves from the Peterborough & District Football League with immediate effect.
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“A Full and comprehensive review will be carried out pre-season with the correct structure in place before the 2012-13 season that will support the transition from under-18s to second team to first team.”
When St Neots’ first team won promotion from the United Counties League to the Southern League last season, the decision was taken for the reserve team to switch from the United Counties Reserve League to the Peterborough & District League. It was hoped then that the strength of the teams in the new league would help prepare the club’s second-string players for a future in its first team.
However, since the start of the season there has been little traffic between these two teams with youngsters from the under-18s stepping up into the first team squad instead and manager Dennis Greene looking elsewhere for players, such as Thurnby Nirvana, the team who beat them in the FA Cup, aided by winger Pearson Mwanyongo, who was signed soon after.
Meanwhile, under manager Paul Warwick, the reserves haven’t exactly set their division alight, winning just three of their nine games, drawing another three, and losing the rest.
When they were withdrawn from the League St Neots Reserves were 12th of 18 and 13 points behind leaders King’s Cliffe United. So much for all the pre-season talk of promotion.
“The Peterborough Premier is step six and if they win that they will be step five,” said Greene during the summer. “That will be a good level to be providing players for the first team.”
The 5-0 defeat to Fenstanton in the quarter finals of the Huntingdonshire Scott Gatty Cup last week may have been the final straw.
Meanwhile, the first team was in action at the weekend, in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy in Billericay, where they lost 2-0. And Huntingdon Town were visiting opponents at the Hunts Post Stadium on Tuesday night in the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup.
A full report from Billericay is on page 84 and a full report from the game against Huntingdon will be available at www.huntspost.co.uk on Wednesday.