Connor Dimaio returns but Boston United boss Craig Elliott left questioning 'consistency' of betting bans

Midfielder available following six-week suspension
Connor Dimaio. Photo: Oliver AtkinConnor Dimaio. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Connor Dimaio. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Craig Elliott has been left frustrated by the lack of consistency in how players have been dealt with following the Football Association's gambling probe.

Midfielder Connor Dimaio will return from a six week ban today - in time for Boxing Day's trip to Alfreton Town.

Teammate Jay Rollins, currently sidelined with a knee injury, has served a one-month ban this campaign while Andi Thanoj is still out of action after being slapped with a five-month suspension from football.

Terry Hawkridge, who began the campaign with Boston but has since joined Basford United, was issued with a fine earlier this season.

This quartet aren't alone, with a number of players and members of management staff across non-league being dealt with following the FA's investigation.

It's not the differing fines and suspension periods which have frustrated Elliott - penalties differ because of the severity of the offences, as anyone involved with football from the Premier league to step four is banned from placing bets on football - but when matters have been dealt with.

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The FA began issuing penalties last season, which meant some players served their bans after the campaign was declared null and void and others throughout the close season.

Boston, meanwhile, lost all three of their players to suspensions during this campaign, leaving them at what Elliott sees as a disadvantage.

Although he has not condoned or defended the actions of his players, the Boston manager believes there have been inconsistencies.

"I've talked to other managers and players at other clubs, it all seems so inconsistent," Elliott said.

"You always feel sorry for yourself, it's natural when it happens to you. But there's no consistency there.

"We've missed good players and it's been difficult. Connor should be back and we need him."

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