Netherton United to stick with the Peterborough League for the foreseeable future as ambitious first-team manager stays silent

Netherton United FC have abandoned their quest for promotion from the Peterborough League for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 11:39 am
Action from Netherton United (red) v Peterborough Sports North End at the Grange earlier this season.

The city side have formally submitted requests to move up a level in recent seasons without success, but they’ve now decided to stick with the step 7 competition and concentrate on retaining their status as the leading community club in the area.

Ambitious first-team boss Jon Harrison, who has in the past been a vocal supporter of moving Netherton up the leagues, declined to comment on the news. He has been asked to stay on as manager by the club.

Netherton chairman Steve Quinney posted a statement on the club website explaining the decision before he spoke to the Peterborough Telegraph.

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Quinney said: “The disruption and uncertainty that has impacted grassroots football over the past 12 months, added to a still unclear future, meant remaining happily with the Peterborough & District League was an easy call to make.

“It makes complete sense to remain where we are for the foreseeable future.

Netherton United is in a fortunate position where the club can enjoy all the benefits of higher status league football (excellent playing facilities, entry into higher level cup competitions, healthy financial sustainability) without the liabilities (extra volunteer workload, extra travelling, extra cost, extra hassle).

“There is no longer a compelling reason to join a higher grade when the club already has those benefits and the loss of one and possibly two meaningful seasons means the first team has unfinished business at this level in any event.

“The PDFL is a very well-run league that we want to be a part of for many more years.

“We can enjoy a good standard of competitive football against other good local sides with the added mix of friendly and spirited rivalries - all of which is socially rewarding and should be what football is about regardless of the level.

“If others want to come in and change things again then that’s fine, but the chances of that happening are actually pretty remote.

“The club’s ambition remains to be an outstanding community club with first-class facilities and to deliver the best competitive and social football we can for all ages, gender and ability.

“We field 26 teams every weekend. We are not a one-team club we are a one-club team.

“The club will continue to invest in our well-managed playing facilities. New contemporary box goals are due to arrive for the 3G this month and new LED floodlights and an upgraded playing surface should be in place next year.

“We will continue to focus on developing the club which has seen so many successful initiatives both on and off the pitch especially over the past four/five years and we aim to remain at the forefront of local football for all the right reasons.

“Jon (Harrison) understands our reasoning. I hope he will carry on and manage the side for the rest of this season and beyond. He’s done a great job.”

Netherton were second in the Premier Division when the season was halted. They were top last season when the campaign was declared null and void in March, 2020.