Potters Football Club: Unfortunately, we are headed in the same direction as Woodlands, we need new recruits to survive
An Amateur football club based in Tonbridge have been forced to withdraw their first-team squad from the Sevenoaks & District League.
Club officials at Woodlands Football Club have explained their reasons behind the unfortunate move, although it’s reserve side will continue in the Fourth Division.
Woodlands play in the second-tier (First Division) and were in ninth-place of 10 teams, having collected two league wins from their seven games, six wins ahead if Otford United Reserves, who sit at the foot of the table without any points from the same number of games.
“Unfortunately, we have made the decision to withdraw and fold our first team,” said a club statement.
“This has probably been coming for some time, initially we were hoping to make it to the end of the season. This was not a decision we took lightly, however, commitment hasn’t been there for the last couple of seasons and we can’t foresee this changing.
“When the first team was picked up by Dan Howse 10 years ago it was on the verge of folding.
“We can be proud of everything we have managed to achieve in those seasons since.
“From 2014 when we should have been relegated to coming back in 2015 to win the Tonbridge Premier Division undefeated, winning the 2016 Tonbridge President’s Cup 7-2 at Longmead Stadium where our ageless skipper Mike Hermitage bagged a hat-trick in his 30th season playing for the club.
“Losing out narrowly by one goal in two Tunbridge Wells Cup Finals (in 2015 and 2017) to teams who were three divisions above us, going up in the world and making the move from our shanty hut at Woodlands Walk to Longmead to Tonbridge Racecourse.
“In the Sevenoaks League we had a successful first season (2016-17), finishing fourth, since then we have always remained competitive but with players leaving it wasn’t quite the same.
“Finally, let’s not forget the countless beers that have been drunk and good times on our social events.
“Huge thanks to everyone who has been connected with the team over the years including players, fans, family, friends, even opposition.
“Special mention to Dan Howse and Ben Fitzer (Mr Woodlands) who managed the club for so long individually and kept the club going.
“Thank you to our sponsors for their continued support to the team. With all this said, the club is not ending, the reserves will continue to be playing.”
Meanwhile, another club in the Sevenoaks & District League, who play their football in the Premier Division, are suffering from the same problem and have warned they too could follow in the footsteps of Woodlands.
“Very sad to see our friends at Woodlands have been forced to fold with immediate effect due to lack of player commitment and interest,” said Potters Football Club, who play their home games at Potters Mede in Wrotham.
“Unfortunately, we are headed in exactly the same direction very soon if our situation does not improve. New recruits desperately needed.”