Boston Town chairman joins calls to save the United Counties League

Mick Vines
Mick Vines

BOSTON Town chairman Mick Vines has backed calls for the United Counties League to be saved.

An FA review panel is understood to be planning a reshuffle of the Step Five level of the National League System, with two leagues expected to be scrapped... the UCL and Sussex County League tipped to be in the firing line.

“I think it would be a shame, the league works well as it is,” Mr Vines told The Standard.

The Poachers currently benefit from a number of derby clashes, with fixtures against the likes of Sleaford Town, Holbeach United, Spalding United, King’s Lynn Town, Peterborough Northern Star, Blackstones, Deeping Rangers and Yaxley keeping travelling costs down and tempting supporters to make more away trips, especially in midweek.

“You look at the fixtures we have and there are lots of games in a 40-mile radius. It’s a good league to be in,” Mr Vines added.

It has been suggested that one option would be for Boston Town, Sleaford, Spalding and Holbeach to join the Northern Counties East League.

However, were the UCL to be one of the two scrapped leagues, Mr Vines doesn’t think it will affect his playing staff too much.

With current manager Phil Jones plus a number of players coming from north Lincolnshire, the chairman is confident the status quo would remain.

“We’ve traditionally always attracted players from Grimsby and Lincoln, so they may be happy to change leagues,” he added.

“It would mean the directors and fans having to do more travelling, but it wouldn’t really make a difference to the players we have.”

The potential shake-up would see the current figure of 14 leagues cut to 12, which would then feed into six leagues at Step Four.

Holbeach United boss John Chand, who is based in Boston, feels the league can survive if all the clubs pull together.

“I think a lot of it is hot air at the moment,” admitted the Tigers manager.

“If all the clubs are against it, they’d find it hard to make such a change.

“I can see what the FA are thinking in terms of 12 leagues going into six, but teams at this level don’t always want to be promoted.

“I don’t think it will happen, but I’m certainly 100 per cent against it as an idea.”

Representatives from UCL clubs are expected to meet in Raunds tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss their options.

Town’s clash against Wellingborough was postponed on Saturday, due to a frozen pitch.