Pirates forced to pull the plug on first team

The Scarborough Pirates have withdrawn their first team from the Yorkshire Men's Premier League
The Scarborough Pirates have withdrawn their first team from the Yorkshire Men's Premier League
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The Scarborough Pirates have withdrawn their first team from the Premier Division ahead of the new season in April.

The club have been forced to move down to one side after several senior players couldn't commit to playing and training regularly this season.

Pirates' former first-team player-coach Adam Lee

Pirates' former first-team player-coach Adam Lee

Club chairman Keith Paddock confirmed that the one remaining senior side will play in Division Two of the Yorkshire Men's League with a mix of the players from the first and A team.

The A team were due to play in Division Five with the first team all set for another division until their withdrawal.

Paddock said: "We've decided we'll be fielding one team this season with a mix of the first-team players who are keen to play and the A team lads, who are a good mix of youth and experience.

"It's disappointing for the club but it is also what is best for us now. We'll be playing in Division Two and we hope that the senior lads will help bring on some of the younger players we have coming through.

Pirates chairman Keith Paddock, third from left, will coach the club's remaining senior side in Division Two

Pirates chairman Keith Paddock, third from left, will coach the club's remaining senior side in Division Two

"We didn't feel that putting these younger lads straight into the Premier Division would be beneficial to anyone and we feel this is the right move going forward."

The remaining side will be coached by Paddock, with former first-team chief Adam Lee taking a step back for the time-being. Paddock was quick to sing the praises of Lee.

He added: "Myself and my wife Nichola would like to thank Adam for everything he has done for the club over the years he's been here as a player and a coach.

"I know we wouldn't be where we are now without Adam's efforts and everyone at the club owes him a debt of gratitude."

A disappointed Lee, who will remain involved with the club in a playing capacity, added: "I am absolutely gutted.

"We just didn't have the depth in the squad to maintain two teams and I have a lot of extra commitments away from the club that are taking up my time, so this was the best decision for everyone moving forward.

"I told Keith and Nichola that I'm not going anywhere, I am still a Scarborough Pirate. I picked up an injury in the Beverley game over the weekend, so I won't be playing for a bit, but I'll be back."

Lee also placed on record his thanks to club chairman Paddock, adding: "Keith and his wife Nichola do so much for the club, it wouldn't function without them, so a big thank you to them for everything they've done and continue to do.

"If it wasn't for Dave Douthwaite, who was captain for years under me, I don't think I'd have carried on as long as I did. He was my driving force at the club and I hope he'll continue to do a great job for the club.

"The team will need to re-build, but with the good youngsters they have coming through and the senior lads stepping in to help out, they'll be a force to reckoned with in a couple of years time."

The Pirates first game of the season will now be on Saturday April 30, with their re-jigged fixture list to be confirmed.