Huge backlog of soccer games in Cork may hasten a move to summer soccer for local leagues

Huge backlog of soccer games in Cork may hasten a move to summer soccer for local leagues
Snow didn't stop Dundalk playing Limerick recently, but the weather hit local soccer games. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

CALLS for a move to summer soccer in Cork are growing after yet another winter which has seen the weather wreak havoc.

The poor conditions have once again ground hundreds of games in Cork to a halt over the past few months.

The heavy backlog of fixtures is an issue which local leagues in Cork constantly have to address and provides a headache for fixture secretaries to ensure all their games are played.

One glance across the fixtures on the official websites for the Munster Senior League, Cork Schoolboys League, Cork AUL and the Cork Youths League over the past few months provided a regular pattern.

From October to March every year games are constantly called off in their droves and it certainly helps to make a strong case for people out there that would be in favour of a move to summer soccer.

It can be frustrating for clubs trying to keep players interested and maintaining good numbers at training not knowing when the next game will be played.

Many feel something has to be done in the long term to address what is becoming an annual problem at this stage.

At present, the local governing bodies for the sport on Leeside are dealing with the backlog as best they can and are all hopeful that they will be able to get all matches played by the end of May/start of June time.

In the Cork AUL, fixture cancellation has also been a major issue and the backlog of games is between 450 and 500, according to secretary Ted O’Mahony. There are teams in the AUL that have only played one or two league games for the season and we are now in March.

In the Cork Schoolboys League (CSL) there are in the region of 600 games to be played, according to secretary Eddie Doyle.

Doyle is optimistic that all of those games shall be played by the end of May, which is the usual target that the Schoolboys League always aim to have all games played by.

The FAI have issued an order that all schoolboys leagues in Ireland must be fully operational in a summer season by 2020. The Dublin District Schoolboys League is now entering its second season running parallel to the League Of Ireland campaign. The DDSL voted to switch to a summer season because of inclement weather and unplayable pitches disrupting large parts of the season during the winter months.

Elsewhere, the Munster Senior League has a backlog of 160-180 games, according to fixture secretary Barry Cotter.

While a spokesperson from the Cork Youth League stated they were slightly more fortunate to get a lot of games played before Christmas, meaning the backlog is not as overly bad as other leagues.

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