NORTH West Premier Division champions Maghera Strollers have decided to leave the North West Junior Football Association after 27 years, because of the way they were treated after clinching their first ever title.
The Strollers, who after nearly two weeks since clinching the championship have only now got their hands on the trophy and that isn’t good enough for club president John O’Connor.
“We won the league two Saturday’s ago at Lincoln Courts and we were extremely annoyed that no one from the Association was there to present us with the trophy,” fumed O’Connor.
“We then went to the Annual General Meeting last Wednesday night and although we were presented with the championship medals, we still didn’t get our hands on the trophy and although we have it now it still wasn’t good enough.
“To be treated like this is shocking and it is not acceptable.
“We have been in the North West for 27 years and we are very much hurt by the way we have been treated.”
O’Connor also admitted that because of their treatment from the association then they have taken the decision to move back to the Coleraine & District League.
“To be honest instead of getting congratulated for winning our first Premier Division title in the club’s history, we were treated terribly and that is why we are leaving the league and going back to our roots, which is the Coleraine & District League,” he added. “We felt we had to beg for the trophy, which we won fair and square and only because we started to ask questions that is why we eventually got the trophy.
“To be honest we don’t want to be associate with a league, which is run in this type of way.”
North West chairman Jackie Morrison stated that he sympathises with Maghera and was hopeful that they would change their mind and stay with the North West.
“I was out of the country the weekend Maghera won the league, but as far as I know Gerry Stewart (Secretary) has the trophy, but he was unable to attend the game because there was a death in his family, he was also unable to attend the recent meeting because of that bereavement,” stated Morrison.
“I hope to meet Maghera soon to try and persuade them to change their mind and not leave the North West League, because they are a fantastic club, who have been associated with the North West for a number of decades and I would personally be disappointed if they did leave.”