Appledore Football Club has pulled its first team from the South West Peninsula League.

Manager Keith Shapland confirmed the club had withdrawn from Division One East, citing a lack of players.

The Fishermen, who have been in the SWP League since its formation in 2007, were sitting third from bottom in the 19-team East Division, having won two games out of 14. Their last result was a 4-0 defeat at Brixham on December 8.

Shapland, who managed Appledore to a second place finish in the division in 2014/15, a third place finish in 2016/17 and a Devon Premier Cup title in 2016, said the enjoyment had gone.

“We just haven’t got enough players – that’s the long and short of it,” he said.

“We had a couple drop out for a match the other day, so I had nine players going down to Brixham, and I just thought ‘I can’t do it any more’. The enjoyment has gone out of it.

“I’m not managing or coaching – just trying to find 11 players each week.

“We’ve had a couple of meetings about it and made the decision last night.

“It’s a shame. I’ve been there for a long time and put a lot of work into it. Unfortunately the commitment from players isn’t where it should be.

“Towards the end of last season I thought we would be on our way back up again, but we’ve lost 10 players since June and we’ve got a reserve team that doesn’t want to step up.

“There was no more I could have done - I tried everything.”

A statement from SWP League secretary Phil Hiscox said league officers had reluctantly accepted the club’s notice, adding it was a ‘sad day’ to see them withdraw.

He said: “They have been long standing members over many years, playing in the old South Western League, then the Devon County League and since 2007 in the East Division of the South West Peninsula League.

“Over the years they have been good servants to those leagues and to the community they serve, it is certainly a sad day to see them withdraw.”