Quested consider Medway Sunday League future as member clubs vote on number of non-contracted non-league players allowed to play in the league

Wednesday 04th May 2022

A Sunday League in Kent will be voting to decide whether its member clubs are to have limits on players who play within the non-league pyramid from next season.

Chatham-based Quested Football Club feel they may have to leave the Medway Sunday Senior Football League as they regularly field non-contracted players who play in the Isthmian League or the two divisions of the Southern Counties East Football League. 

Quested call themselves “Medway’s most successful men’s football team,” having won the Kent Premier Cup on five occasions, as well as winning the Medway Sunday Senior League on 27 occasions and the Senior Cup on 23 occasions.

Quested sealed their latest piece of silverware on 20 April when goals from Stuart West, Bradley Schafer, Jake O’Sullivan and James MacDonald sealed a 4-1 win over Chatham Town’s Sunday League side.

Schafer plays for Herne Bay, a side that finished in third-place in the Isthmian League South East Division (Step Four, the eighth-tier of English football) and sealed promotion into the Isthmian League Premier Division for the first time, with play-off victories over Haywards Heath Town and Ashford United last week.

West, meanwhile, helped Larkfield & New Hythe finish in third-place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division (Step Six, the tenth-tier of English football) and lost the play-off final to Sutton Athletic, who will be playing in the ninth-tier of English football for the first time next season.

Quested are famed for playing players who play within the National League System and turn out for them on a Sunday morning and bring success for Steve Lester’s side, with many former and current players at Gillingham-based outfit Hollands & Blair turning out for the amateur club.

A Quested statement said: “So after the celebrations have ended, we now have an email confirming the Medway Sunday League are to hold a vote at their Annual General Meeting on the limit of Step Six players playing in the league, possibly to just two players per team.

“We as a club feel we are being discriminated against.  After 40 plus years of playing in the Medway Sunday League we feel that they are trying to push us out purely due to our success.

“As a club, if these new rules are brought in we have no choice but to change leagues.”

A spokesman for the Medway Sunday League said: “I do agree with the principle of it as I believe the local league should be for local players and personally I believe that we have lost many teams over the years as they often reach the top division and feel they have no chance of winning anything as they are up against a team that is essentially a (Southern Counties East Football) League outfit.

“The whole purpose of the league and committee is that everyone can have a say and everyone gets to vote how ever they feel but it is a democratic vote and it could go either way.

“Personally, the relative strength of the league and the ability of our teams to win the Kent Cup is irrelevant to me.

“This League is run to the benefit of all its clubs and all its players, not just the ones at the top of the divisions or the ones winning trophies, and I see my role as providing the opportunity for local teams to play football. It’s not just about winning things.

“I have the most respect for those teams who turn up every week and never win trophies but keep going because they enjoy playing football.

“I much prefer watching games at the lower end of the league when I go out on a Sunday morning as I feel it truly represents local football.

“I am fully aware of how difficult it is to get a team out on a Sunday morning having run a team at the top of our league for 10 years despite very limited success in terms of trophies. The whole point of it for me is the love of playing the game.

“This is not a rule that I came up with, it is already in our rules and being clarified further and I do happen to agree with the change as do the whole committee when it was voted on at our committee meeting.

“If the club feel they can no longer be part of this League then it is their decision to make.

“I am happy that all the things I do voluntarily for this League are done with the whole League’s best interests at heart and I am sure that the rest of the League committee would say exactly the same thing.”