Paget withdraw senior team from league
Paget have withdrawn from the Bermuda Football Association First Division, the second team to pull out of the league in the last couple of months.
The BFA confirmed yesterday that Paget, who were relegated last season, have dropped out of the league after not being able to field a team for the season which starts on Sunday with the opening league matches.
“Today, the Bermuda Football Association's competitions committee was informed in writing that Paget Community Football Club will be withdrawing from the 2019/2020 season,” the association said in a press release yesterday.
“Michael Stovell, president of the Paget Community Football Club, stated that the club tried everything possible to keep the team in the league this season, but a limited roster of players and lack of commitment to training led to this very difficult decision.
“President Stovell also indicated that the club had a challenge with securing a full-time ‘B' Licence coach, a hurdle that the club's hierarchy tried to overcome.”
Ironically, BAA, who were promoted with Paget at the end of the 2017-18 season after both teams finished on 44 points from 14-2-2 records, announced two months ago today that they were withdrawing from the league despite finishing sixth in the top division last season. They were also hit by a loss of players, after 23 players obtained transfers in the summer.
More than half those players are moving on to North Village where Kenny Thompson, the former BAA football director, has returned to hold a similar position, as well as head coach of the Rams senior team.
While BAA had some success in their first season back in the Premier Division, securing a Dudley Eve Trophy spot, Paget struggled during the campaign, winning just two of their 18 league matches to be relegated.
They defaulted their final match against PHC, a possible sign that their troubles had already begun.
During the summer transfer period, eight players left the club, including veteran defensive trio Robert Richardson, McQuinn Burch and goalkeeper Jason Smith. Richardson has returned to PHC and Burch and Smith back to promoted side Southampton Rangers, who lost out to BAA and Paget in the promotion race two seasons ago.
“President Stovell stated that with only eight players committed to playing, it wouldn't be fair to try to find a team to play every Sunday or whenever their team is scheduled to play,” the BFA stated.
“So, the only option, which is a very hard decision to make, is to withdraw for this season and rebuild and come back with a group of players that are committed to playing for Paget Lions and representing the community of Paget.
“The Bermuda Football Association is saddened by this decision taken by Paget Community Football Club who have been a mainstay in the association's domestic league programme for many seasons,” the BFA added.
“The complexity of running a club is very demanding and takes the input from many individuals, inclusive of players, coaches, team administrators, executive members and supporting personnel.
“The association wishes the leadership of Paget Community Football Club all the very best with their endeavours to rebuild, with the hopes that they may return a more viable and sustainable club in the future.”
Paget were due to play Ireland Rangers in their opening league match on Sunday.
The First Division will now have nine teams.