TENBURY’S biggest two football clubs will renew rivalries in Herefordshire League Division One next season after league chiefs accepted requests to move down a level from both sides.

Tenbury Town finished bottom of the Herefordshire Premier after losing 20 of their 24 games last season and they told the Advertiser before the campaign ended that they would seek demotion.

Local rivals Tenbury United – who finished 11th of 13 teams in the Premier last term – have followed suit, with joint manager Aaron Morris saying the move is in the club’s best long-term interests.

The new division allocations were confirmed by the league this week and Morris said: “People lose interest if you are losing week in, week out – they don’t want to turn up and get walloped.

“If we had another season like last year we might have ended up not having a side and we don’t want that because we’re the oldest club in Worcestershire, I think.

“We have lost a couple of players and we have quite a bit of youth talent coming through, a lot of 15, 16, 17-year-olds.

“Three or four have been in Kidderminster Harriers’ youth set-up, they have a bit about them but it’s hard to go straight into men’s football.

“So we thought staying in the Premier, which is very strong this year, would be wrong with it being these players’ first year in men’s football.

“So, as a collective, we said let’s go down, let them get used to men’s football and then if we do well, then we can take that step back up.”

Now, after an arduous season in which they won six games combined, the two Tenbury sides are hoping to be competing at the right end of the table when the campaign begins in September.

Morris added: “I think we will compete. I think we will be in the top three as long as the players who have come along in pre-season sign up. We have a good core of lads.”

Town, meanwhile, have added United’s Gaz Edwards, ex-Shobdon man Hugo Benson plus Jamie Cole and Joel Oliver during the summer.

Joint boss Keiran Fish said: “We have definitely got a chance in Division One. We’re not going into it thinking we will win the division but we should win a few games rather than three out of 24."