New teams sign up for TCS South Devon Football League

Neil Hocking

Neil Hocking - Credit: Archant

The TCS South Devon Football League, now sponsored by Torbay Clearance Services, is eyeing September for a return to action and whereas last season's constitution was hit by an unprecedented exodus of clubs, to the new Devon Football League, this season the news is much brighter.

Prior to June's annual meeting, the league received applications from seven new teams.

All were admitted and a further team has since been accepted for a total of 59 teams across four divisions.

The Premier Division has a new look with The Windmill FC and Elburton Villa Reserves expanding the Plymouth contingent. The Windmill FC were unbeaten at the top of the Plymouth and West Devon League last season but have decided to take on a new challenge.

Torquay side Barton Athletic are the only current SDFL side to make the step up to the top tier and are, in fact, the only Premier side who currently play in the town.

The other Torbay sides include Brixham AFC Reserves and Torbay Police, who play at Churston Grammar School. The Police were among the front-runners when Covid-19 brought the league to a premature end.

The remainder of the teams are split between Teignbridge and the South Hams. There is a welcome return to the top flight for Watts Blake Bearne who won the double back in 2009/10.

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Broadmeadow STFC, Buckfastleigh Rangers, Meadowbrook Athletic, Newton Abbot '66 and Plympton Athletic Reserves will press the reset button after experiencing Premier Division football for the first time last season.

East Allington United, who won back-to-back Herald Cups in 2017 and 2018, will be aiming to add the Premier Division title to their honours list.

The Pirates were leading the way when the 2019/20 season ended along with their chance of glory. Salcombe Town were also faring well for the South Hams with former Torquay United player Ash Yeoman in prolific form.

Ipplepen Athletic were another side in the title mix last season while Buckland Athletic Development and Ivybridge Town Reserves had some good results but were blighted by inconsistency.

Although there was no relegation as such, Beesands Rovers elected to drop down to Division One after managing just the one point in 13 games. 2017/18 champions Ashburton have returned to the league but have also been placed in Division One.

South Brent will once again compete in the SDFL (Division Three) after returning to the league following a five season hiatus. The bottom tier will also see the return of Brixham Town and Liverton United Reserves. To complete the new entrants, Galmpton United have introduced a reserve side and Paignton Saints have entered a third team.

Despite the premature end to the season, one SDFL club did add to their trophy cupboard over the summer. Division One side Waldon Athletic Reserves did the Bay proud by winning the Devon FA's Charles Norsworthy Fair Play and Meritorious Award. The Clarets had maintained an excellent disciplinary record for three seasons, winning several league level fair play awards over that time.

The county level recognition was appreciated by chairman Keith Aplin who praised the team for their hard work.

The full 2020/21 SDFL constitution is as follows:

Premier Division:

Barton Athletic

Brixham AFC 2nd

Broadmeadow STFC

Buckfastleigh Rangers

Buckland Athletic Development

East Allington United

Elburton Villa 2nd

Ipplepen Athletic

Ivybridge Town 2nd

Meadowbrook Athletic

Newton Abbot '66

Plympton Athletic 2nd

Salcombe Town

Torbay Police

Watts Blake Bearne

The Windmill FC

Division One:



Beesands Rovers

Buckfastleigh Rangers 2nd

Chudleigh Athletic 2nd

Galmpton United


Kingskerswell & Chelston

Kingsteignton Athletic 2nd

Paignton Saints 2nd

Paignton Villa 2nd

Stoke Gabriel 2nd

Upton Athletic

Waldon Athletic 2nd

Division Two:

Babbacombe Corinthians

Barton Athletic 2nd

Bishopsteignton United

Broadhempston United

Dartmouth AFC 2nd

Dittisham United

East Allington United 2nd

Ilsington Villa

Ipplepen Athletic 2nd

Newton Abbot Spurs 3rd

Newton Rovers

Torbay Police 2nd

Torquay Town

Watcombe Wanderers 2nd

Division Three:

Babbacombe Corinthians 2nd

Brixham Town

Chudleigh Athletic 3rd

Galmpton United 2nd

Kingsbridge & Kellaton United

Kingsteignton Athletic 3rd

Liverton United 2nd

Newton Abbot '66 2nd

Newton Rovers 2nd

Paignton Saints 3rd

South Brent

Teign Village

Torquay Town 2nd

Totnes & Dartington 2nd

Watts Blake Bearne 2nd