A youth football team has dropped out of a cup final because it clashedwith a GCSE exam . 

Davyhulme Park FC's U16 side plays in the Bolton and Bury District Football League

The final of the U16s Players Cup was due to be played yesterday (May 22), but the  club complained of the clash with English Language exam on the morning after the final,  to be held at the Bolton Wanderers Academy.

The side beat Bolton Lads and Girls Club U16 Tigers in the semi-final and were due to face Salford Lads and Girls Club U16 in the final. 

Dave Devlin, chairman of the club, said: "The kids work so hard in both football and in school and to be put in a position where you have got to pick football over your GCSEs is ridiculous. 

"We all asked the league weeks ago if we can find our own venue, could you give us the trophy for it, and their response was no. 

"They left us hanging until Monday night at 11pm, when they said they would keep it on Wednesday. 

"It is not fair on the kids." 

Mick Whitlock's son, Charlie Whitlock-Lancaster, plays for the side. 

Mick said: "You can't ask the boys to choose between their exams and playing a football match. We have been on and on at them.

"They have all got English Language on Thursday morning, they all sit it together. We are absolutely disgusted by the league. 

"You can't ask them to make a decision on their academic futures to play a football match. I thought grassroots was about that, the whole deal, not just football." 

A spokesman for the league said: "The cup finals were initially set for May 22, 2024 at the Eddie Davies, Bolton Wanderers Academy. Teams raised issues around this date. 

"The league offered either Monday 20, Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22, Thursday 23, Friday 24, Saturday 25 or Sunday 26 as options. 

The Bolton News: Davyhulme Park FC's U16sDavyhulme Park FC's U16s (Image: Davyhulme Park FC)

"Each time an option was offered it was declined on the grounds that either it was GCSE week or because Manchester City and Manchester United were playing in the FA Cup final. 

"We were informed that the teams wanted the final to be moved to the following weekend of June 1 and 2." 

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He added: "Our league is only sanctioned for the competitive age groups up to and including the May 31, after this date teams would not be sanctioned, affiliated or insured to play association football in the BBDFL. 

"We were then informed that the teams would organise their own final on a day and time to suit them and wanted the league volunteers to organise the referees, bring the trophies and run the events.

"As such we as a league found this to be wholly unacceptable for a team or teams to dictate when and where they will play a cup final.

"We tried to be flexible to the teams and accommodate where possible, but to no avail." 

The spokesman added: "As such we have offered matches to the losing semi/quarter finalists who will now have an opportunity to enjoy a day playing at the Eddie Davies, Bolton Wanderers Academy. 

"We have two cup finals, involving four teams, and each of the teams had a different 'reason' for not playing. We have been going round in circles for weeks so it’s probably best for all parties that we draw a line under it and move on." 

In response, Dave Devlin said that Tuesday 21 had been offered as an alternate date, but that it was declined due to the GCSE situation. And he added that he was not informed that Thursday nor Friday were offered, had they been they would have been accepted.

Dave also denied being offered Saturday and that they didn't ask for June 1 or 2.