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*Action from the Youths meeting of Bridge Utd and Shannon Town Utd last year. Photograph: Joe Buckley

In a bid to try retain Youths players who missed out on games as a result of COVID-19, an U19’s soccer league is to be set up when games resume in Clare.

Clubs have been contacted by Denis Collins who will be elected secretary when the Annual General Meeting of the Clare District Soccer League (CDSL) is held. The idea of setting up an U19 league was put to the clubs by Collins.

As a result, there would be no Youths (U18) league but it is expected that the CDSL will have competitions in place at U17 and U19 level. The Clare Echo understands that between 12 to 14 clubs have already expressed an interest in registering teams for the U19 grade.

An U19 Cup final was last played in Clare in 2015 when Burren Utd recorded a 2-1 win over Avenue Utd.

At a meeting of the soon-to-be-elected CDSL officials on Zoom in the past week, it was said “youths are losing out the most” as the idea of setting up the U19 league was discussed. This is also a bid to ensure players are not lost from the sport.

Kilrush Rangers’ Jason Ryan is on course to replace Oliver Fitzpatrick as Chairperson when the CDSL AGM is held. The Clare Echo has learned that he has held discussions with ex Oscar Traynor manager Liam Murphy, President of the CDSL Robert Clancy and Donal Magee who guided Shannon Town Utd and Bunratty Utd to Premier Division success to gauge their views on how to bring the CDSL forward.

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