Winter football impossible for Highlands and Islands League says Clachnacuddin manager Bobby Beckwith
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Clachnacuddin Women manager Bobby Beckwith believes logistical issues made a winter Highlands and Islands league season impossible.
While other regional leagues in the Scottish Women’s Football League are set to kick off their campaigns this weekend, the Highland and Islands League are the exception to the rule – opting instead to only play friendlies.
That means no competitive football will be on offer until next summer, when it is hoped all SWF competitions will return to their normal schedules.
For Beckwith, the issue was a practical one in switching to a winter season above all else.
“Some teams haven’t been training, and there aren’t enough facilities for everyone to play matches,” he explained.
“Logistics were too difficult to make it happen, you’ve got teams based from up in Wick all the way down to the islands.
“There would be so much travelling involved, the fixtures probably wouldn’t get played half the time.
“It just wasn’t feasible, and there would be the issue that a lot of grounds would be taken up over the winter.
“We play at Clach’s ground, and we can use it in the summer because they don’t play then, but over the winter it would be double booked.”
Those same issues are making it difficult for the inaugural Highlands and Islands League champions to arrange friendlies, but Beckwith would hate to see the women’s game regress after jumping so far forward.
“This season would have been some girls’ year, they would have been knocking on the door to come into the team,” he reasoned.
“Going into next year, we have to try and keep them going and hopefully it won’t affect the women’s game. We don’t want that to take a step back, and if that means getting friendlies and getting us back as soon as we can, that’s what we’ll try to do.”