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Shildon planning to reject promotion

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Shildon have announced that they won’t take promotion at the end of the season, even if they win the Ebac Northern League First Division title.

The deadline is the end of November for clubs to inform the FA that they would like to take promotion to Step 4 – in Shildon’s case it would be the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North – but they won’t be filling out an FA application form.

Director David Dent said: "We are only half way through our `Three Year Growth Plan` and despite some fantastic improvements both on and off the field, we believe that the time is not right to make the step up through the leagues. A decision on our ground will not be made until the 21st December and whether we stay at Dean Street or leave, improvements would have to be made to support our progression to Step 4.

"We are also involved in some very exciting discussions around the establishment of an Academy at Shildon next season which again demands our immediate attention and which forms part of the longer term strategy for the club as does the formation of a Development squad next season which will provide a pathway for our current Under 18 squad hopefully to the first-team."

Manager Gary Forrest added: " When I came to Shildon I managed a team, I now manage a club and our focus this and next season has to be in laying the foundations through supporting our under-18's, arguably the best in the north east to progress to be our reserves next season with the very best of them joining our first-team squad.

"We equally want to build on our success at first-team level where I have been very open and stated that our ambition is to win the Northern League. That ambition has not diminished and before we consider promotion those on the field ambitions need to be realised.”

It remains to be seen whether other clubs will apply or not. Bishop Auckland and Dunston UTS have applied in the past, while Consett chairman Frank Bell has talked of applying previously.

Source: Ray Simpson

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