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Club Statement: Reserves

(May 19, 2021)

Sidley United II's have been removed from the ESFL Prem / Div 1 Cup Final after fielding an ineligible player.

The club was shocked to receive notice that Phil Hawkins, who played in the 2 - 0 victory over Battle Town, was ineligible to play having appeared for Little Common, Saltdean United and Eastbourne United already this season.

The club had absolutely no prior knowledge of this with Phil having signed for the club back in October 2020 and attemps were made by club personnel to check on the eligibility of the player online and could not identify any potential issues.

Having worked so hard to reach the position the team was in, the club would absolutely not have deliberately jeopardised all the hard work of the players from the previous matches and as such appealed against the decision. 

The club requested a hearing with the league which was held last night. Whilst the league accept that Sidley United did not intentionally try to achieve a sporting advantage, the decision was upheld and as such Sidley United were docked the points from the match which were awarded to Battle Town. As a result, Battle Town will take the place in the final of the competition.

Whilst naturally disappointed at this situation, the club is proud of the players and believes they were fully deserving of their place in the final through sporting merit. However, we accept the league's decision and were pleased that it was recognised that this was not a deliberate act and we will now focus on regrouping ahead of the new season. 

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