*David O’Grady & Ronan Lanigan in action. Photograph: Joe Buckley
An ability to play the 2020/21 season of the Clare District Soccer League (CDSL) will be “date dependent”.
Clare was one of the few leagues in the country to conclude its last season after officers made the decision not to announce a cancellation and instead resumed games in July 2020 while managing to finish off all competitions.
This season has yet to commence. “We planned to start the new season in October but it didn’t work out due to COVID, we don’t know if there will be soccer,” Vice Chairman Ronnie Pyne told clubs at Monday’s emergency general meeting (EGM) in what was the first such gathering of the CDSL to ever be held remotely.
Munster FA administrator Barry Cotter detailed that work is ongoing in the background between the Provincial Association and FAI boards with regards to a return to play but noted that the anticipation always lies around Government guidelines. The Cork man stated, “You can see where we are with our economy, the schools are just reopening, the schools and construction are the priority and amateur football is way down the pecking order. We might not get back to August or September so there is no point giving false hope, you will hear it in the news before you hear it from us the way leaks go”.
Chairman of the Munster Senior League, John Finnegan who sits on the FAI board informed clubs, “Nobody can really say when we’re going to go back, there is a lot going on behind the scenes, hopefully we will get back at some stage. If I can help the CDSL, once you don’t need money it’s okay, anything else I can get it for you”.
When asked by Pyne if the criteria of the CDSL committee seeking a two year term was appropriate, Finnegan said that the standard procedure is for an election each year. “Usually an AGM is held in June and the committee is elected for twelve months. You can argue both ways, I don’t know the ins and outs. It is a bit irregular but if clubs pass it there shouldn’t be an issue. It is a decision for the clubs. The general situation would be for an annual general meeting that is why it is called annual. It would depend on the attitudes of the clubs”.
Pyne agreed that the clubs would decide, no objections were voiced by any delegates throughout the course of the EGM. Vice Chairman of the Munster FA, Richard Browne flagged that yearly accounts would have to be submitted regardless of holding an AGM, “I wouldn’t see any problem with people taking a two year position especially in the strange times”.
Guidance was also sought by the Ennis man on what scenario would pan out if junior soccer returned in May or June. “Would Munster say play the 2021 season for the next two months or what would happen. You couldn’t play a season in two months”.
Finnegan stressed that there should be no intention to “wreck three seasons” and credited the outgoing officers for concluding the most recent campaign. “It is for every league but it very much date dependent, if you don’t get back to September you won’t finish season, if we get back in May or June are you going to leave lads waiting a few months for the season. Some leagues are going with knockout. It will be very difficult to finish it unless you get back in the next few weeks”.