The Huddersfield RCD Junior League have hit back at Park Avenue Juniors under-15s manager Jason Bastow following a bitter dispute over clashing cup games – which resulted in Park Avenue having to pull out of a competition at the quarter-final stage.
Park Avenue were due to meet Hall Park United in the last eight of the League Trophy on Sunday but had a District Cup semi-final already arranged for the same day.
“Our semi-final has been arranged for a while,” said Bastow in a letter to the T&A, “whereas we only played our last round of the League Trophy the previous week.
“Mr (Eric) Kershaw of the Huddersfield League would not rearrange our fixture. He said it is up to the opposition to agree, and that it cannot clash with a league fixture.
“We tried this but to no solution, so basically Mr Kershaw told us we had to forfeit one of the cups.
“This is staggering from a League that says it does so much to promote grass roots football.
“I had to tell my group of 16 lads that all the hard work and effort they put into one of the cups counted for nothing.”
But Mr Kershaw had a different view of the situation and said he had offered Park Avenue the opportunity to move the game but opponents Hall Park had problems with the dates given to them.
Going into more detail, he explained: “Basically, they shouldn’t have entered two competitions. He knew there could be clashes and created the problem for himself.
“He was told not to enter the District Cup because it has no standing within the FA and does not take priority. They knew this all along.
“When he found himself in the latter stages, one competition had to give way. He can’t understand why the League didn’t up sticks and move the game but fixtures are arranged months in advance and the world doesn’t revolve around one team.”
Mr Kershaw says he can understand why his players are upset but places the blame firmly on the shoulders of the club’s management.
“Nobody wants to see kids upset. I’ve put 30 years into junior football but every League has a finite line. We try to be as fair and genuine as we can.
“The management committee put a lot of time and effort into arranging a semi-final and final. You have pitches to book and there are stacks of management issues around the games. We do move games but you also have to bear in mind the other team.
“And where was the Bradford FA in this? Why couldn’t they move their fixture?”
Park Avenue ended up losing their District Cup semi-final against Thackley 6-0.