Betfred League One’s Hemel Stags have confirmed that they have withdrawn from the competition for 2019 – but may return the following year.
After joining the league in 2013, Hemel have struggled and their departure sees them become the third team – after Gloucestershire All Golds and Oxford – to leave the competition. All three were introduced in the same year and marks the demise of the three expansion clubs who were much-hailed when brought into the system.
Ultimately, their ability to recruit quality players was too much of a struggle for all and they found that the locally produced players, in general, weren’t of sufficient quality. However, the likes of Joe Batchelor came from Coventry – another expansion team – and has now moved onto St Helens; there is quality to be found and the expansion teams are doing the right thing in trying to produce homegrown players.
The Stags will seek to join the mooted Southern Premier League, as will Gloucestershire, for 2019.