Stowmarket Town pull out of the FA Vase
Stowmarket Town have pulled out of this season's FA Vase.
The Suffolk club have reached the last 32 and were set to play Cobham at Green's Meadow when the competition gets up and running again.
But last night the Stowmarket Town board of directors made the difficult decision to withdraw the club from this season’s Buildbase FA Vase.
In a statement the club said:
"The recent curtailment of the Thurlow Nunn League season, due to the ongoing national lockdown, has left the Vase, as well as the Suffolk Premier Cup, as the two active competitions left in the current campaign.
"Paul Musgrove’s men defeated both Eynesbury Rovers and Norwich CBS at Greens Meadow last December to reach the last 32 of this season’s Vase, where the draw had paired Stow with another home draw against Cobham.
"With The FA’s intentions to resume the competition possibly as early as next month, and with fixtures to be played behind closed doors with no paying supporters, the club has taken the decision to pull out due to financial reasons.
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"While we understand this decision will be disappointing for our management, players, supporters and sponsors, it is unfortunately not financially viable for the club to play in the current circumstances.
"The board must put the club’s long-term future first, rather than focusing on a fragmented season which has already been adversely-disrupted by the ongoing pandemic.
"The club would like to wish Cobham and all the other teams who continue to compete in this season’s Vase the best of luck, and we look forward to Muzzy and the squad returning in the summer for pre-season ahead of starting their 2021-22 campaign."
Meanwhile, Stow boss Paul Musgrove has said the ambition is still there for his club to make the step up the football pyramid.
The old Gold and Blacks made some big signings of intent at the start of the 2019/20 season and were leading the Eastern Counties Premier table by 15 points with just 10 games to play, before the season was called null and void, with promotion to Step 4 in their sights.
Last season saw them unbeaten in the league from their opening seven games. A second year at an attempt of promotion to Step 4 being denied them after another null and void call.
However, Musgrove says, the Greens Meadow side will go again when the new season starts.
"Our ambition and desire is still there, top to bottom," he said.
"I've already had commitment from nearly the whole squad if I'm honest. I don't need to change too much. I might make a couple of tweaks along the way. But the ambition is still burning bright.
"I've used the recent months wisely and everything is in hand. I didn't want to be chasing my tail all summer. It's not something I want to do. I've spoken to the boys weekly, apart from a couple of changes to freshen things up, that's about it."
One player who won't be staying at Greens Meadow next season however, is Seb Dunbar. The left-back has decided to look for a new club after saying on Twitter he is looking for 'a new challenge.'