Cork City’s U17 and U19 boys’ teams will not be resuming their national league seasons despite the FAI having been given the go-ahead to restart the competitions, though Cobh Ramblers will be back in action.
Initial guidance in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions being lifted was that, while GAA U20 and minor competitions would go ahead, underage elite football would not. That decision has now been reversed but with City’s boys’ teams having ceased training, they are not in a position to recommence.
Both teams had made it through to the second stage of their respective leagues, each playing one game in that section as the U19s beat Waterford and the U17s lost to Shamrock Rovers.
The girls’ U17 team, who have three remaining games in the first phase of their league, will be back in action though as they had continued to train.
“The club learned last night of the reversal of the decision on the U17 and U19 National Leagues recommencing,” a club statement read.
“Following detailed internal discussions, the club has reluctantly made the decision that our U17 and U19 boys’ teams will not resume their seasons, however the girls U17s will return to action.
“The club has reached this decision as the girls U17s have continued to train, while the boys’ teams have not. This has not been an easy decision, in a year fraught with difficulties, but we feel the decisions made are in the best interests of player welfare.
"It has now been over 12 months since some of the players started pre-season and we appreciate that this has taken a massive effort on the part of our players, their parents and the coaching staff.
Meanwhile, Ramblers have confirmed that they will be partaking in the boys’ U17 and U19 leagues.
“Cobh Ramblers FC welcomes the resumption of the U19 and U17 Academy Fixtures following last night’s announcement by Government and the FAI,” their statement said.
“As a board, we felt that the continuation of training up until last week, whilst complying with Covid regulations, was important for the welfare of our players and staff, and to allow some semblance of normality during what has been a difficult period for everyone.
“We believe that there are tangible benefits in allowing these players to resume playing, and we look forward to fulfilling our fixtures to conclude the 2020 season.
“The fixtures for this coming weekend see our U19 side travel to Galway United, while our U17 side will host Shamrock Rovers. The club wishes the best of luck to both sides as they compete in the claret and blue for the final games of the season. Details of further fixtures will be released in due course. #StrongerTogether”