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Jason Ryan. Pic by John Kelly

Clare Soccer League Considering July Return For 2021/2022 Season

The Clare District Soccer League committee has proposed to clubs that the 2020/2021 season would be declared void, with the focus moving to the start of the 2021/2022 season in the coming months.

The proposal was outlined to clubs at this week’s delegate meeting, with plans being put forward to begin the new season in mid-July, which would be dependent on Covid-19 restrictions at the time.

It was detailed that should junior players get the expected green light to return to training toward the end of May, it would leave a period of up to six weeks for teams to prepare for the new season. It was also proposed that the new season would begin with the League Cups across each division.

League treasurer Tony Downey also informed the meeting that players at U-17 and U-18 level would not be scheduled for a return to games until after the Leaving Cert exams have been completed, with July also being identified as the most likely return date for those grades to competitive action. He also noted that if the go ahead is given by clubs to run an U-19 league, that would be the first competition to be looked at.

A number of clubs who spoke on the night were in favour of the plans to begin the new season in mid July, with league chairman Jason Ryan outlining that it was only a proposal for clubs to discuss at this stage, and that no firm decision would be taken until the AGM of the league is held in a few weeks time.

It was also envisaged that in an effort to avoid putting too much of a load on players, games will only be played once a week to avoid the risk of injury after an extended layoff period. The potential for a winter break to be built into the season, allowing players and pitches to have time off around December/January was also mooted. There was also strong support for the suggestion of beginning the season with the league cups, with a feeling among the delegates that this would allow players to get back to match sharpness ahead of the league season proper beginning.

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