WEYMOUTH reserves have withdrawn from Sydenhams Wessex Division One with immediate effect.
Echosport understands the move had been in the offing for the past week, but in a statement on the Terras’ website this morning, the club has now confirmed the decision.
The Terras had fulfilled their Saturday fixture against Downton, losing 3-0 away, but a series of events in September, including the resignation of manager Bradley Asagba, and the cancellation of their League Cup fixture against Hamworthy United, signalled that the reserves’ demise was imminent.
Weymouth’s statement, posted at 10am today, said that the decision had been taken with a “very heavy heart”.
It read: “The board of directors have taken the decision to give notice to the Sydenham’s Wessex League to withdraw the club’s reserve team with immediate effect.
“The difficult decision was not taken lightly and was made with a very heavy heart. It is based on future restructuring of the club’s setup and the successful reintroduction of the youth section this season.
“WFC would like to place on record our immense gratitude to Brad, Ray and Hilary for all of the hard work they have put in over the years and very much look forward to working with them after they’ve had a well-deserved break.”
Club chairman Steve Mills believes the future of the club “looks amazing” despite the sudden demise of the Terras’ reserves outfit.
Mills told Echosport the club had been “redirected” after the success of a recent youth tournament and added that the Terras only have “so many resources”.
He said: “We have redirected the club. We did not expect the (youth section) to grow quite as fast as it has within a couple of weeks.
“It’s frightening how quickly it’s growing, the club has only got so many resources. We had to concentrate on what the club wants.
“From the beginning of the season we’ve been looking at youth. We’re going to have a few more meetings over the next few days. There a few things in the pipeline which are very exciting.”
Commenting on the decision itself, Mills admitted the move “was not taken lightly”.
He said: “It was not taken lightly. We’ve got some players who have been with us for quite a while.
“I do know that the guys have spoken to every single one of the players and the players have taken it very well. Some have gone away just to think about what they want to do next.”
Mills reserved praise for Hilary Billimore and Ray Pearce, who were heavily involved behind the scenes with the reserves.
“They are just the greatest people to work slash volunteer for Weymouth Football Club.
“Ray and Hilary are just absolute diamonds and there’s no way we are going to let them go. They could turn their hands to anything and be the best at it.”
And Mills explained how he decided to run a youth tournament, which was the catalyst to the decision to drop the reserves team.
“I came up with an idea, we had a youth tournament and it’s just exploded from there. The future of Weymouth Football Club looks amazing,” he said.