THE Parkway Hotel-Maybury Coaches Cup heralds the beginning of a new West Cork League season that could yet include a winter break.
Clubs throughout the region are gearing up for another winter and spring of adult men’s and women’s leagues and cups plus U19 and U17 youths’ competitions.
This weekend sees the start of the traditional season-opening knockout competition, the Parkway Hotel-Maybury Coaches Cup, involving both Premier division and Championship clubs.
One of the off-season’s big talking points has been the possibility of the West Cork League introducing a winter break. Traditionally, league and cup fixtures are played, when possible, throughout Christmas and the New Year. For the first time, the WCL Committee has asked clubs to vote on whether to take a break or continue playing during a hectic festive period.
‘A decision on taking a winter break will be down to the clubs,’ Vice-Chairman of the Munster FA and WCL Secretary and Registrar John Buckley told The Southern Star.
‘We (WCL Committee) are putting the idea out there. It is not set in stone; it is just a proposal. Again, if the weather is good around that time, clubs might want to continue playing. If the weather turns, the idea of stopping for Christmas might be worth considering. The West Cork League will, as we always do, resume with the opening rounds of the Beamish Cup early in the new year.
‘Playing throughout this past summer worked well. Pitches were in good condition and that led to better games. Everyone seemed happy enough with playing soccer during the summer. That’s why we would be okay with taking a winter break as we might have the option of extending the season into the summer if necessary.’
Many of West Cork’s sides are also taking part in the upcoming Munster Junior and FAI Junior Centenary Cups. Clonakilty Soccer Club have been drawn away to Munster Senior League outfit Douglas Hall in the FAI competition’s opening round. Bunratty United will also be on their travels, taking on Castleview.
The 2021-22 McCarthy Insurance Group Munster Junior Cup will include eight West Cork League entrants. Some of the highlights of the WCL’s Drinagh Rangers will host Cork AUL’s St John Bosco's, Dunmanway Town welcoming Greenmount Rangers and Togher Celtic facing Grangevale AFC. All first round ties must be completed by the weekend of October 30th/31st.