Lancing United apply to join the Southern Combination League

Lancing United's first-team
Lancing United's first-team

LANCING UNITED Football Club have applied for membership status to the Southern Combination Football League for the start of the 2016/17 season.

They are currently undefeated and ten points clear at the top of the West Sussex Football League Premier Division with eight games to go.

If the club are granted permission, they will look to join SCFL Division 2, which currently has 16 teams. The club believe they match the requirements set by the league, except for the availability of hot water in the referee’s changing room.

United have sent off their ground grading details to the Sussex Football Association and are expecting a reply around the end of March, with any ground amendments needing to be made by May.

Club treasurer Glenn Souter said: “We’ve sent off our ground grading details and, with fingers crossed, we’ve met them all.

“We’re looking to progress the club now with this move and a lot of things will change, such as the players not having to pay subs.”

Although the club look set for promotion, with two automatic places up for grabs, Souter was quick to cool expectations.

He said: “We may be top but there are still eight games to go and it would be foolish to think we’ve done anything yet.”

The club have a five-year plan, which is looking to get the best out of the local youth players, as well as forming a better relationship in the community with Lancing FC.

Souter said: “We have five or six youngsters at the moment who are based around the nucleus of our side.

“From next season, we will also be launching Lancing United Colts, a youth side that will aim to create a cost-effective solution for youngsters in the area.

“We would also love to see Lancing FC promoted to the Ryman South and hope we can develop better links with them for the progression of players at both clubs.”

United had the opportunity to apply for the Southern Combination League last season, but eventually decided that it was in their best interests to wait before making the step up.

They have seen Upper Beeding make the step up with ease as they currently sit second in the table.

Despite being a similar sized side to Beeding, Souter believes they made the correct decision.

He said: “We didn’t want to rush it. We wanted to wait to see how we would do this season, and now we know where we stand, we can set out more realistic objectives for next season.”

Lancing United are this season celebrating their 70th anniversary and will have more information soon about how they plan to celebrate it.

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