Sport

SOCCER: No further WCL football for now

October 19th, 2020 10:00 AM

By Ger McCarthy

Togher Celtic celebrate winning the 2020 West Cork League trophy, the Gareth O’Driscoll Premier Cup, following a 2-1 victory after extra-time over Drinagh Rangers in Darrara.

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THERE will be no further West Cork League football for at least another fortnight following a government and FAI directive.
Disappointingly, the WCL has had to cease all scheduled fixtures only a week after getting the new 2020-21 campaign under way, Premier Division and Championship.
A government and HSE directive moving the country to a Level 3 lockdown plus the FAI joining other sporting bodies in cancelling all upcoming activities brought a temporary halt to the new West Cork League season. ‘We were left with no option,’ WCL secretary John Buckley admitted to The Southern Star.
‘Obviously, we heard the government’s announcement before the inevitable call from the FAI about stopping all activities for the next three weeks. Hopefully, it will only be for three weeks.
‘At the same time, clubs can still train together, and we are hoping that they will do so safely and using the correct Covid protocols. Limiting contact with other players and people around the club is crucial in the weeks ahead. That’s because the virus appears to be hitting West Cork more so than it ever did in the last couple of weeks.’
In the interim, the West Cork League Committee will be busy making plans for the U19 and Women’s League’s imminent returns. John Buckley and his fellow committee members are anxious to get both of those leagues off the ground as soon as the restrictions are lifted.
‘The West Cork League is also busy updating our new and improved website,’ Buckley added.
‘There is a lot of information to go up on the website so we’re going to be very busy, as I said, over the next few weeks even though there may not be much action out on the pitches.
‘There is plenty to do on the administration side of things so we will be kept going. We’ll be ready for whenever the League gets going again, be that in three weeks’ time or whenever the all-clear is given. There is a lot to look forward to.’
After a tough year in which the WCL experienced its longest ever campaign, players and supporters were looking forward to a new season.
‘Fair play to our fixtures secretary at the time, Eamon Connolly, for getting last season finished,’ John Buckley noted.
‘As for the new season, thankfully, we managed to squeeze in a full round of matches in the time that we were allowed. Our AGM may have been postponed, but we managed to get the Michael Cronin Cup between Drinagh (Rangers) and Dunmanway (Town) played off ahead of a full round of fixtures.
‘Unfortunately, a few referees were unavailable, which meant one or two games had to be postponed. We are hoping all the referees will be available when we kick off again.
‘We are staying positive and it looks like we will get a full set of fixtures completed as soon as we get cleared to return. Yes, this will extend our season by a few weeks so hopefully, over Christmas and the New Year, we can make up lost ground by getting additional matches played.
‘The reality is that this could be one of many future lockdowns. If we get away with only one (lockdown), we will probably be okay to finish out this season as it stands. Restrictions any longer than three weeks might mean having to look again at the divisional structures. I know we have been late restarting (the leagues), but we have time on our hands.’

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