AFC Ludlow boss Dave Cooper 'won't be managing in Mercian Football League next season' (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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AFC Ludlow boss Dave Cooper 'won't be managing in Mercian Football League next season'
AFC Ludlow boss Dave Cooper says he won’t be managing in the Mercian League Premier Division next season.
The Shropshire side are pushing for the title and Cooper says it will be the West Midlands League - or nothing - for him next term.
Nathan Hodge kept up Ludlow’s title assault with four goals in their thumping 6-0 home win over Allscott last Saturday.
But West Midlands League spokesman Neil Juggins said, at this stage, the Mercian League champions won’t have an automatic right to promotion.
And Juggins said ‘outstanding issues’ remained from when Ludlow Town resigned from the West Midlands League.
Cooper said: “I will definitely not be managing in the Mercian League next season.
“If we’re in this league next season, the club will need to find a new manager.
“We are the only team in Shropshire with an all-weather pitch but all our matches this month have been scheduled away from home.
“We were supposed to be away last Saturday - but we switched the game to our place.
“Had that not happened, it would have been five weeks since we played a game in this league.”
Mercian League spokesman Phil Davies said he had some sympathy for Cooper.
“I can understand Dave’s frustration because Ludlow could have been playing their matches on the artificial.”
He added: “As far as I know, the winners of our league will be invited to play at the next level - that’s what has happened in previous years.”
The Shropshire County League was dissolved at the end of last season and replaced by the Mercian League.
Juggins says there is no formal agreement for promotion between the West Midlands League and the Mercian League.
“I am not saying there won’t be one in place but there will need to be discussions before the end of the season,” said Juggins.
He added: “I know that AFC Ludlow are distancing themselves from Ludlow Town but if they were to win the title, there would be things we would have to look at closely.”
Cooper says that AFC Ludlow are nothing to do with the old Ludlow Town.
“We are not Ludlow Town and have nothing to do with the old regime,” said Cooper.
“We have our own bank account and the only thing that remains is that we play at the same ground.
“We have called ourselves AFC Ludlow and have a new committee. We could play our home matches at Craven Arms or Woofferton.
“AFC Ludlow has a lot of local support and the team is made up of mostly local lads.We have a committee meeting to discuss a few things next week.”