Barnstaple Town FC has withdrawn its reserves side from the Premier Division of the Fresha Devon and Exeter League.

Barnstaple’s acting chairman Dave Cooke said: “As a club it was one of the saddest decisions we have had to make recently, but in the end we weren’t left with much choice. With several players off to university this season, coupled with unavailabilities and the lack of personnel willing to travel to away games, it left the manager facing the prospect of starting the season with virtually no squad. So it was decided to rather than mess the league around and face the possibility of not fulfilling some of the fixtures, we would withdraw from the Devon and Exeter league.

“It is not all gloom, however, as our under 18 team will now fill some of the void left by the withdrawal of the reserves. With the first team looking to have a more settled side and with the pick of the U18s coming through the ranks, there should be more than enough local talent to fulfil both sides.”

Pre-season

Barnstaple first team start their pre-season programme this Saturday are home to Bovey Tracey ko 3pm.

Ilfracombe Town’s pre-season games start next Tuesday (July 10) away to Braunton, followed by home games against Bideford on Saturday (July 14) and Cullompton on Tuesday, July 17.

Southern League Bideford do not start their pre-season games until July 21, when Truro City will visit the Sports Ground.