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*Denis Hynes has tabled some interesting proposals for Thursday’s AGM. Photograph: Martin Connolly

CONTROVERSIES THAT OCCURRED earlier in this year’s soccer season have inspired proposals that will be discussed by clubs this week.

On Thursday evening, Treacy’s West County Hotel will host the Annual General Meeting of the Clare District Soccer League (CDSL). As first reported by The Clare Echo, Jason Ryan (Kilrush Rangers) will be returned unopposed as Chairman with contests on the cards for the roles of Fixtures Secretary and Delegates.

Off the field drama had an impact on the final destination of the Premier Division and Second Division titles this season and it has been noted by clubs and the CDSL committee in some of the rule changes put forward.

Five rule changes have been proposed by the CDSL committee including an increase in a fine from €100 to €150 for clubs guilty of playing suspended or eligible players or those using a false name, the deduction of three points will also be removed from Rule 51. Clubs will also have to make note on a team sheet if an underage player is lining out at junior level.

Committee members of the CDSL have also proposed that twenty rather than twenty five medals be provided for league and cup winners. The CDSL also wish for the Premier Division to start with the League Cup matches at weekends and midweek with this competition to be ran off in two to three weeks.

An officer who fails to attend four Committee meetings in one season will have to automatically step down from their role and be prohibited from standing at the next AGM, is the final change recommended by the CDSL.

Connolly Celtic who were disgruntled with the handling of the Second Division’s conclusion will seek changes as a result. They have proposed that where a club or team fails to complete a fixture, that three points be awarded “to the disappointed teams for each of the un-played matches, except when a team has played less than half its scheduled matches, then it’s record shall be deleted completely”.

Where a member of the CDSL Executive is involved with a team or club who breaks Rule 51, the fielding of a suspended, illegal or ineligible player, Connolly have proposed that the “executive committee member must step down immediately from the executive committee once the disciplinary process has concluded. We feel if this was to happen then that person’s position on the executive committee will be untenable so would like to see this attention to the rule”.

Three other amendments have been tabled by Connolly. They included having a minimum of 25 percent of both genders on the CDSL committee, for a maximum term of five years for any CDSL official and for no CDSL committee member to be involved with the management of a team in the league.

Avenue Utd are requesting a minimum of 18 hours when switching game from an astro pitch or vice versa. They are also tabling an amendment so that when a pitch is deemed unplayable that a pitch inspection be done by the referee at least two hours before kickout “to avoid unnecessary travel for the teams involved”.

Scrapping of the winter break has been proposed by Kilkishen Celtic, the seasonal break is currently scheduled from December 11th to January 6th.

Mountshannon Celtic have suggested the introduction of a ‘for referee use only’ shading distinction tag for the initial section of the official team sheet used on match days where the designated match referee signs. The East Clare club is also asking the CDSL to allow the provision of a copy of filled out team sheets to the opposing team on matchday.

FAI Football Development Officer, Denis Hynes has put forward a number of interesting proposal for the AGM. He has called on the CDSL to enter into a facility usage agreement at The People’s Park in Kilmihil at an estimated cost of €1500 to €2000 by subsidising the venue hire for a minimum of thirty games. The absence of Oscar Traynor costs and a FAI CDO contribution leaves the CDSL with a €5000 extra spend, he calculated.

Hynes has also recommended moving the scheduling of adult games from Sunday mornings to Friday nights (7:30pm – 9pm) and Saturday evenings (5:30pm – 7pm or 7:30pm – 9pm). Youths games could also be played in these slots or from Monday to Thursday, he believed. A shortened CDSL season from October to April 1st would allow for a clean break between seasons, make clubs stronger and avoid a clash with the GAA championships.

Such a change is necessary according to Hynes, “some clubs in all divisions went eight to fourteen weeks without a game last year,” he highlighted. “The traditional Sunday format of grassroots football is not attractive anymore,” the Ennistymon man said. He cited a CDSL Development Survey whereby 71 percent of respondents expressed an interest in playing on midweek, Friday or Saturdays.

Co-ordinating with the CSSL window can improve continuity of activity, Hynes noted while arguing the U17 and Youths competitions could be played in a tighter six to ten week period. The addition of standout games on Friday and Saturday nights could also heighten local media coverage, he said.

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