Revamped underage Cork soccer leagues will run from June for U7s up to U16s

Cork Schoolboys League is gearing up for league and cup matches to run into August
Revamped underage Cork soccer leagues will run from June for U7s up to U16s

Joe Mouret of Corinthians controls the ball ahead of Adam O'Callaghan of Ringmahon Rangers during the Skechers U14 Premier Division match at Ringmahon Park. Picture: Howard Crowdy

THE Cork Schoolboys League are preparing for a summer return to competitive action following the government's latest re-opening plan.

CSL league and cup games will start again from June 7 and progress to late July or early August, along with small-sided matches for the youngest players from U7 through to U11.

The 2021-'22 season will then commence in September.

Any chance of a home and away league format is gone, but the CSL still hope to facilitate a single-round conclusion to all leagues in every age. Unfortunately for the league, this requires revamping the fixture list. On a more positive note, the local cups are back on the table. 

Originally, when the CSL planned for an April return the sole aim was to see out all local leagues. With a single-round league schedule, there should be enough time for all teams to be included in the Local Cups, though the Founder Cups will not be catered for due to time restrictions.

CSL secretary Eddie Doyle and league officials are now working on the new formats. 

“We are very hopeful now that we can start planning for matches on June 7. 

We will get back planning a new fixture list so we can facilitate a one-round league but that will allow us to organise playing out the local cups including the U11 Cup too which would be brilliant for the players. 

“We hope to get back underway in June and to end the season may be in late July or perhaps the start of August. This would work well because it would allow clubs a small break to prepare for the new season then in September if everything goes to plan.” 

Ryan Hackett of Leeds attempts to weave past Ryan Dalton and Golding Nduwuba of Passage during the CSL U14 Division 1 match at Maulbawn. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Ryan Hackett of Leeds attempts to weave past Ryan Dalton and Golding Nduwuba of Passage during the CSL U14 Division 1 match at Maulbawn. Picture: Howard Crowdy

For younger ages, U7s, U9s and U11s will play on Saturday afternoons and evenings, with the U8s and U10s out on the Sundays. 

"This would be fantastic for the youngsters who deserve to get back out on the pitches and enjoying the game,” said Doyle. 

There certainly seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel at this stage and Doyle and co. in the Cork Schoolboys League are optimistic about the possibility of a summer return to competitive football. 

“It really is important at this stage to get the players back out and enjoying football. Players, their families, coaches, referees and everyone connected with the game really want to get back. We will do everything we can to facilitate this and hopefully, in a short amount of time we will be watching the young players playing matches again.”

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