Diamonds are handed Town’s crown

Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin has had to put promotion as the club's priority
Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin has had to put promotion as the club's priority

Brackley Town have been stripped of their NFA Hillier Cup crown because they played Alex Prosser and Oran Jackson in the final against AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

The NFA found the club guilty of playing two ineligible players and have handed the trophy to Diamonds but Saints have the right of an appeal.

We played a lot of games last season and we have to learn lessons from that

Saints boss Kevin Wilkin

NFA chairman Bob Cotter was unable to expand too much in case there is an appeal but said: “Brackley played two players in the final who had not played in a previous round. They asked for dispensation for those two players which was refused but they went ahead and played them.

“That put the club in breach of the rules and the matter was reported to our county cups committee which then made the decision. But the decision is subject to an appeal and they have five days to do so.

“We do give dispensation for some players but not for these two. Our logic is simple, we look at the requests and at the players who have been with the club the longest.

“We allowed Connor Hall to play, because he had been there the longest, but not the other two.”

But Cotter hinted the county may look at the rules again.

He added: “We accept there are different registration levels for some our bigger non-league clubs like Brackley Town and Kettering Town. We have competition rules to uphold but this may be something the committee will look at again in the future.”

Disappointed Saints boss Kevin Wilkin said: “We’ve asked for a meeting with the NFA to try and avoid this happening in the future. Counties need to be able to work alongside clubs.

“We played a lot of games last season and we have to learn lessons from that. We need to keep the players as fresh as we can to determine where we end up playing next season.”