THE West Cork Schoolboys League elected to retain its March to November calendar season by 23 votes to 22 at last Tuesday night’s AGM in Dunmanway.
A decision to stick with West Cork’s newly-introduced schoolboys’ format came down to a single vote.
Every West Cork Schoolboys League (WCSL) club was represented at a meeting where delegates were asked to decide on a single motion brought forward by Drinagh Rangers concerning the on-going winter versus summer soccer debate.
Both sides of the motion were given time to be discussed at the AGM with passionate opinions voiced.
In the end, a single vote saw the WCSL decide to stick with beginning its season in March and ending as close to November/December as possible rather than returning to the traditional September to May format of previous years.
Despite the outcome there is more or less a 50-50 split between West Cork clubs when it comes to deciding on the best time of the year for its schoolchildren to play soccer.
The clubs that voted in favour of the motion believe this is the best time frame for children to play soccer. Longer evenings permit a greater chance of completing postponed fixtures during midweek as well as improved playing pitch conditions throughout the summer months. On the opposite side of the motion, many clubs are struggling to fit in their respective fixture-lists around an already crowded sporting calendar that involves their players’ commitments to GAA, rugby, rowing and many other sports.
Whatever the opinions of clubs, the new 2020 WCSL season will begin in early March and will place throughout the summer months before concluding by the end of the year.
Importantly, the subject of ‘calendar year’ versus ‘winter soccer’, the latter being West Cork’s previous September to May season format, will not be discussed again until the 2022 AGM in three years’ time.
Also last Tuesday evening, there were changes on the WCSL management committee including David Hall being elected as the new league secretary. Long-standing incumbent Hugh O’Reilly’s decision not to seek re-election saw Hall take over the role.
Ardfield AFC’s O’Reilly will remain on the committee as rules administrator but Stephane Guiblin (fixtures secretary), Martina McSweeney (registrar) and Danny Peters (chairperson) have also decided to step down. Bantry Bay Rovers’ Peters will remain as acting chairperson until that role is filled. Castlelack’s Tadgh Curtin stays on as treasurer.