THE Dorset FA’s decision to stop the Terras from naming Chris Povall in last Saturday’s first-team squad was “a little pedantic”, according to Brendon King.
The controversy began when the young keeper was called up to the county under-18s squad to travel to face Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
With the fixture clashing with Weymouth’s trip to Banbury United, Povall notified under-18s boss Jamie Murray that he wanted to figure for the Terras instead, only to be suspended by the DCFA – a punishment that was also handed out to reserve-team ace Charlie Holland.
Reflecting on the situation, Terras’ boss King said: “Being called up to the county team is a great honour and I always tell my young players that if they are picked they should make the most of the opportunity.
“On this occasion though, Chris told Jamie Murray last Thursday night that we needed him to come with us, while Charlie made the decision that he would rather turn out for the reserves, which he notified them of the following day.
“Unfortunately the powers-that-be at the DCFA took a dim view of it and decided to suspend both players from turning out for us on the Saturday, which I thought was a little pedantic.
“They were well within their rights to do it as neither player is on a professional contract with us at the moment.
“If they were then they couldn’t be called up to the county but for them to stop Chris from featuring in our first-team squad was disappointing.
“In the end Chris travelled with us anyway but we couldn’t name him in the squad. And had we taken Jamie Perry instead it would have left the reserves without a keeper.
“I definitely think it is something the county FA needs to look at because in the current climate a lot of young players are on non-contract forms now at non-League clubs, and for them to stop them featuring in the first-team squad like they did with Chris seems a little harsh.”
Jake Richmond, joint-manager of Weymouth Reserves, was also disappointed with the ruling. He added: “Our aim is to develop young players so for the county not to allow them to turn out for us makes no sense to me.
“When you are at school, playing at county level is fair enough and I think it should come first. However, when a player is with a semi-pro club then I think they should have the choice because at the end of the day they are there to push for the first team.”
When asked by Echosport for a response, Dorset FA cup and competitions manager Colin Chainey said: “If a player is selected for any county representative team he is to play for that team.
“If he chooses not to in favour of turning out for his club he needs permission from the chairman of the county match committee to release him and on this occasion it was not given.
"No one from Weymouth FC contacted us on the matter even though the squad was released two weeks prior to the game.”
Going on to comment on Povall’s suspension in particular, Chainey added: “It is quite frustrating when a player pulls out and then another one from the same club calls up and does the same the day before the game.
“If a bit more notice had been given then I have no doubts the chairman of the county match committee would have considered releasing him.”
Charlie Holland did end up turning out for the county under-18s who lost against Berks & Bucks 6-2.