Torquay United have withdrawn their application to enter a ‘reserve’ team in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League at the last moment.

The Gulls, who have a close link with nearby Torquay Academy’s football department, had planned to re-launch a youth-based reserve side as part of a drive to give their best teenagers early experience against senior opposition. Their application to join the Peninsula League had followed a similar move by Plymouth Argyle, using many of their own Academy starlets, three years ago.

The Pilgrims enjoyed a long run in the FA Youth Cup last season, and they gave some of the credit to the experience that their youngsters have gained in the Peninsula League in recent seasons.

But league secretary Phil Hiscox revealed that before yesterday’s annual meeting, United confirmed that they had finally pulled out.

“It is all very amicable. I had a call from (United general manager) Geoff Harrop on Monday to say that Torquay had withdrawn their application because they feel that it is a year too early for them,” said Hiscox.

He added: “They may well apply again next year, and we will be happy to entertain that approach.”

Harrop said: “We have concluded that, while the Peninsula League may well form part of our football development programme in the future, it would be premature to go into it this year when we have just started our own under 16-18 programme.”

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