Avondale schoolboys chairman believes league leaders deserved to be crowned champions

Avondale schoolboys chairman believes league leaders deserved to be crowned champions
Avondale United promoting last year's Annual Fun Day, which didn't go ahead this summer because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Picture: Mike English

AVONDALE UNITED Schoolboys chairman James O’Riordan has expressed his disappointment that the league failed to find a way of producing a final league table for their recently cancelled season.

O’Riordan has insisted that the club fully accepts the reasons to abandon the 2019-'20 campaign following the outbreak of the coronavirus but he believes the CSL ought to have awarded the league leaders across the divisions with the title.

The Dales U16 side looked set to win their league as they were five points clear of second-placed Leeds, having played a game more, with just four games remaining.

“I’ve been involved with the schoolboys for a while and I played with Avondale United myself so I can understand how disappointed they are that the season had to end but this is new ground, this is unbelievable, nobody has ever experienced anything like this,” said O’Riordan.

“As far as the Cork Schoolboys League is concerned, they didn’t have a choice but to cancel the season. They had to do it but a lot of work had gone into this season up to March so maybe I felt that they could’ve called it as they were. 

"We’re trying to promote football and encourage kids. If you look at the number of medals that are handed out it’s not a lot considering how many play so it is an honour to win any division.

“To achieve that is a huge thing, our U16s were top with a few games to go and they are devastated. I can appreciate what the league did but I wondered if they could’ve awarded the league as they were when they cancelled it.”

United was also forced to abandon their annual family night but O’Riordan is hopeful that they will host the event at a later date as the new season appears on the horizon. We also have a family that we usually have in May for the academy kids that was taken away from us unfortunately but we are going to have to do something for those U16s at some point,” he added.

“We want to acknowledge them and all the other players including our schoolgirls who were also having an incredible season. Our coaches are eager to get back and the kids will want to get back as well, it would be a boost for everyone to get back playing in groups but it probably looks like we won’t kick off the new season until September.

"But I think we will be up and running shortly, the coaches will be getting their plans in action and myself and Joe Plunkett that look after the academy here on a Friday night - which is a huge thing for us - and hope to start it again soon.”

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