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Killea could return to Inishowen League 26.01.12

Controversial border club keeps its options open

by Caoimhinn Barr, Inishowen Independent

Speculation that Killea FC could be set to rejoin the Inishowen League continues this week after the club confirmed that it has quit the Ulster Senior League to return to ‘junior football’.
However the Inishowen League has so far received NO official contact from the controversial border club. PRO Terence Hegarty said he had no comment to make on the matter because no approach had yet been made by Killea.
“All we know is what we read in the papers,” he said.
But the Inishowen Independent has since learned that a person did contact someone at the Inishowen League to unofficially enquire as to how much it would cost for Killea to re-register.
Killea left the league as First Division runners-up some eight years ago and would be expected to enter that same division if any bid to rejoin the Inishowen League proves successful later this year.
A statement released from the club this week was far from definitive though and did not mention the Inishowen League specifically, referring only to ‘junior football’ throughout.
The border club, which found itself at the centre of controversy last season for fielding players from outside the FAI jurisdiction, is understood to be struggling to field a team of local players during the Ulster Senior League summer schedule.
Killea Officials have written to the USL committee to inform them of their stance and have indicated their desire to make the switch back to junior football.
“We had a meeting during the week to decide what we were going to do. Anybody that is involved with the club, from the youth team’s right up to the seniors, had their say and the unanimous decision of all in attendance was to pull out of the USL,” first team manager Dermot O’Donnell said.
“I’d like us to stay but I understand where the club is coming from. At the moment, we’re getting hammered for playing players from the North. It’s our only real option, though. The Gaelic has really taken over here in the summer and we just can’t field a local team.”
In a statement Killea FC said it had decided to go back to junior football to strengthen the local base of the club.
“Killea FC wish to confirm that the club has decided to return to junior soccer. A letter of resignation has gone to the Ulster Senior League. The main reason we have left intermediate football is that we wish to build a strong local base. Our ambition as a club – we are almost 50 years in existence - has always been to provide football for players from our community and parish.
“We are also convinced that summer football does not suit our purpose because of the many counter attractions not least among them other sports. Our club has an extensive under age football academy but for whatever reason the majority of these players – as they move into their late teens - are not getting sufficient opportunity to stay in the sport and we have to address that.
“As a side issue we have strong concerns about how the FAI rule 55 was interpreted in our case and the severity of the punishment handed out. It’s important, however, to move on and a meeting of our management committee, plus all our under-age team managers - sixteen members were in attendance – met a fortnight ago and decided unanimously that we should return to junior soccer with an overwhelming emphasis on the development of local players.”
Killea FC was expelled from the final of last season’s Knockalla Caravans Cup for playing a cup-tied player (Gareth Wade) in an earlier round, while they were also adjudged to have breached Rule 55 of the Football Association of Ireland after winger Paul Simon Tracey was found to be playing with another club across the border in Derry.
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