SIL representative side have unfinished business

The SIL Representative side celebrate a goal against the Reading League in last season's competition

The SIL Representative side celebrate a goal against the Reading League in last season's competition scored by Craig Jenning, second right. The SIL won the match 3-0 but were expelled from the competition - Credit: Archant

MANAGER Ian Watson has some unfinished business to attend to on Saturday.

Watson was joint manager last season with Peter Gorham when the SIL representative side was thrown out of the FA Inter League Cup for fielding an under-age player.

Elliot Crowe, then of Ransomes Sports, was deemed too young to play in the competition, run by the Football Association, as he did not celebrate his 16th birthday until the August. Players had to be 16 on the preceding January 1.

The SIL side, who had already beaten the Bedfordshire League, defeated the Reading League 3-0 in the first round tie that Crowe featured in.

The Touchline SIL side now face West Riding County Amateur League in the extra preliminary round of the competition that is played over two seasons.

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The match is taking place on Saturday at Hadleigh United’s Millfield, and for Watson it is a chance to banish the memories of last year’s expulsion.

Felixstowe United manager Watson, who is joint manager with Grundisburgh’s Kevin Cunningham, said: “Absolutely, there is no question whatsoever about that.

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“It would be nice to put it right for Keith Norton (SIL Chairman) after what happened last year and also for Peter Gorham, who was my joint manager.

“I think if a lad is allowed to play in the league he should be eligible to play in this competition, but the FA have their rules and we have to abide by them.

“John Campany (SIL match organiser) has been superb this season and Kevin Cunningham and myself have been working very closely with him, as we did with Keith Norton last season.”

Watson, who is looking forward to managing with Cunningham, added: “West Riding have had similar problems to us with a fixture backlog.

“We don’t know much about them, but I don’t think they will enjoy coming here to play us.

“We have a strong squad and Hadleigh have a fantastic pitch and facilities.

“We plan to meet up with the players on the morning of the match and have breakfast and then have a chat about what is expected from them.”

The winners will not know who they face until all the extra preliminary round ties have been completed. The eventual winners will enter the UEFA competition.

Jersey, who won the 2011/12 competition, entered last year but were eliminated in the first group games held in San Marino.

Admission to the match, which kicks-off at 2.30pm, is £4 and £1 for a programme.

SIL squad: A Wilson, J Carr, M Cunningham (all Grundisburgh), K Holland, C Kyle, L Elliston, L Hunn, M Morgan (all Felixstowe Utd), L Hammond, E Bridger, A Harvey, L Cooper (all Ipswich Valley Rangers), N Smith, J Hawkins (both Haughley Utd), B Taylor (Achilles), D Pleasance (Old Newton Utd).

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