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Shinty clubs could go to the wall due to coronavirus pandemic fears manager

By Will Clark

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KINLOCHSHIEL manager Johnston Gill hopes shinty clubs will not fold as a result of the 2020 season being cancelled.

Kinlochshiel manager Johnston Gill. Picture: Neil Paterson
Kinlochshiel manager Johnston Gill. Picture: Neil Paterson

The Camanachd Association confirmed that it has scrapped all league and cup competitions this season due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Its decision was made on it still being unknown when teams would be able to take to the field again as a result of government restrictions.

Gill, who lead Kinlochshiel to the Premiership title for the first time in their history in 2017, says it was the right decision to cancel the season.

He hopes that clubs will not go out of existence as a result of the impact Covid-19 is having on sport.

“It is heartbreaking for everyone who is involved in shinty,” he said.

“A lot of people are saying that some teams might go to the wall which would be drastic for shinty.

“The women’s game is coming up and improving all the time.

“Let’s hope that no team goes to the wall. When it comes to the top teams they are strong enough to survive this and get through.

“But without a season being played, it looks like next year before we can play any shinty.”

The Camanachd Association has said that it will look to organise local competitions during 2020 if government restrictions are lifted.

Gill says he would be supportive of playing friendlies this season.

“They are talking about having mini leagues involving teams in local areas which would be good.

“That would get us ready for the start of next season.

“Any kind of shinty being played at all would be good.”

Gill says the Camanachd Association was left with no option but to cancel the season and it was a decision which received his support.

He says he does not know when team sports can return as normal.

“The Camanachd Association was left with a difficult decision,” he said.

“It is a big disappointment that this season is cancelled.

“But I can understand the reasons why.

“It is a serious thing which has happened and there is nothing we can do it about it I’m afraid.

“Nobody knows how long this situation is going to go on for.”

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