Shillong, Jun 18: Smit SC have secured direct entry into the Shillong Sports Association’s (SSA) First Division football tournament for the year 2018, it was revealed today.

Smit turned in the highest bid in the auction to fill the vacant spot left by Boys Sports Company, who decided not to take part this season, the SSA said in a press release without revealing the bid amount. Bids had to be submitted by 14th June.

Last season Smit played in the Second Division and were relegated after finishing as the bottom club in Group B. So, instead of playing in this year’s Third Division, they’ll be moving to the First Division and it’ll be interesting to see how they perform in the 10-team league.

Outside the SSA’s tournament structure, Smit did win the knockout Assam Rifles Invitational Football Cup earlier this year for the second time in three editions of the tournament. However, Smit, like many other participating teams, strengthened their squads with some temporary signings for the competition.

It is understood that Smit will have some time to sign new players despite the SSA transfer window closing in April. During the window Smit signed 10 players from other clubs while releasing four.

Meanwhile, clubs that want to vie for the vacant Shillong Premier League (SPL) spot have until 23rd June to submit their bids to the SSA. That auction was necessitated after the SSA reclaimed Shillong United FC’s spot after the team failed to field a side in the U-18 SPL or reply to any communication from the organisers.

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