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Athletic boss is looking to 2021

LIAM McMenamin believes local soccer will have to cut its losses until the new year.

The latest restrictions which came into effect on Friday means all training, including non-contact, has been suspended until December 11.

Strabane Athletic boss McMenamin insists clubs will need a period of training before they could even contemplate playing competitive games and no more so than his own club which hasn’t trained properly in weeks owing to the stringent restrictions that had been imposed by Derry and Strabane District Council.

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“It’s a very frustrating time but there isn’t much we can do about it,” he said.

“We had a fair idea this was going to happen and even if the league provided another start date how long would it be until it is pulled again?

“With the new restrictions we are just waiting to see what’s the next step for the league committee.

“This is going to be very hard to manage and my own thoughts are the league should just pull things until the new year.”

While the former Sheffield Wednesday trainee believes there should be a clean break until 2021, he does, like everyone else involved in local football, wonder what that new year might bring.

And if there are any further restrictions he would be genuinely concerned that the season may not be completed.

“After Christmas you could have a hard winter, there could be further lockdowns, you just don’t know,” he continued.

“Certainly our club would need a mini-preseason again and we aren’t the only ones. I suppose we’ll have a better idea come January but it looks like is going to be stop-start for the foreseeable future and it’s hard not to see that pattern continuing.

“There is no doubt if the season does get up and running then the league will have to be the priority.”

FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 4 Castle Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AB