Ducks forced to hand back trophy after rule break

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Aylesbury United have been forced to hand back the Berks and Bucks Senior Trophy after fielding an ineligible player, the same rule break that saw them win the competition by default last month.

The devastating news is made worse by the fact the player in question, Daniel Jones, had played in the FA Trophy for arch rivals Aylesbury FC, which breached competition rules after he then featured in United’s semi-final win over Ascot United.

The Ducks have been disqualified from the competition they had won without kicking a ball when Flackwell Heath and Windsor were both kicked out for fielding ineligible players.

Ducks boss Tony Joyce described the default trophy win – the club’s first silverware for 13 years – as ‘bitter sweet’ because his players would not get to play the final.

But his feeling will be one of despair this evening after the news emerged over the weekend, although the club does have their promotion push and Premier Division Cup final to look forward to.

The decision to disqualify United came after the Berks and Bucks FA came into possession of the teamsheet from FC’s match against Grays Athletic which showed Jones had been in the squad for the game.

When asked how the local FA would have come into possession of the teamsheet in question, Ducks chairman Graham Read said: “We don’t know at this stage.”

In an official statement released exclusively to The Bucks Herald and the club’s own official website, Read said the competition rules need to be addressed given three of the four semi-finalists had been thrown out.

A frustrated Read said: The fact that three of the four semi finalists all fell foul of the rule seems to suggest

it’ needs looking at -This year 3 of the 4 semi-finalists have been disqualified as a result of a rule infringement. No one is saying (and we are sure that no-one believes) that any of these clubs was cheating or otherwise seeking to gain unfair advantage.

“This level of technical breach and consequent expulsions is in danger of bringing the competition into disrepute. In the circumstances, we believe that the B&B should review those rules. Failing that, as a minimum, they should review how they publicise the rules to clubs, managers and players. In saying that, we accept that the final

responsibility lies with individual clubs but a system that results in 3 out of 4 semi-finalists defaulting cannot be said to be working.

“Our case is being reviewed by the B&B Cups competition committee. We will be

disqualified and fined.”

The statement in full:

“Aylesbury FC’s We can confirm that Daniel Jones played for us in the B&B Senior Trophy semi-final game against Ascot United. Both we and the player were unaware that his participation in a FA Trophy match for Aylesbury FC on 15/09/2012 made him ineligible for this tie.

“The B&B now have in there possession the ‘Match’ team sheet, which confirms he did

play for Aylesbury FC v Grays Athletic.

“In mitigation:-

1. Liam Smyth registered with us on the 22nd February and as we were aware that he had played for Newport Pagnell in the B&B Senior Trophy he was not included in the squad for the Ascot game although he did play in the four games

preceding that fixture and has played every game since then. This demonstrates that the Daniel Jones issue was an administrate error and not a deliberate attempt to flout the rules.

2. If the purpose of the FA trophy rule is to stop clubs signing senior players to give them a competitive advantage, Daniel has been a regular team member playing 20 games this season. Daniel was also an established member of our team last season playing 46 times. He briefly joined Aylesbury FC at the beginning of the season playing just seven times for them. We believe this shows that he wasn’t signed to provide a competitive advantage in the B&B Senior Trophy.”

Aside from their expulsion it was actually a fantastic weekend for Joyce’s team in the league.

United took maximum points with a 3-1 win over London Colney, while main rivals for Spartan South Midlands Premier spot Oxhey Jets were beaten 3-2 at Ampthill Town.

And off the pitch the Ducks have been awarded Spartan South Midlands Premier Division Team of the Month award for March.

The team are currently on a record breaking 27 match unbeaten run in all competitions.