Reserves to become first team as chairman’s role could not be filled and committee voted to leave

ILFRACOMBE Town Football Club has announced it will be withdrawing from the Western League this morning (Wednesday) – with the reserve team becoming the new first team.

The first team has been disbanded, with manager Tom Bulley leaving the club after this week’s friendly against Appledore, and the North Devon Gazette Football League premier reserve team will now become the first team, with the thirds, who play in intermediate one, becoming the reserves.

Following the announcement that Matthew Hayne and Kenny Robertson were standing down at the AGM, the club called an extraordinary general meeting.

A statement on the club’s website said it was apparent at the meeting the appetite to remain as a Western League club ‘wasn’t entirely evident’.

As a result of this it said the chairman’s role could not be filled and following a committee vote, it was decided on a 10 to 7 majority to leave the league.

The Bluebirds were one of the founding members of the league in 1949, and left it in 1959 before re-entering in 1984, where they have remained for the 30 years since.

The statement said: “The club will continue to field a ladies team, and will introduce a Sunday League team this season. The youth teams will continue as normal.

“The club wishes to go on record in thanking Tom Bulley for his complete professionalism through this process.

“The Club wishes Tom and all the players the very best for the coming season with whoever they choose to represent.”