North Caledonian League chiefs prepared to extend season
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THE North Caledonian Football Association (NCFA)remain confident that they will be able to complete their season despite lower league football staying suspended until at least March.
The Scottish Football Association has confirmed lower league football, which includes the North Caledonian League and Highland League, as well as the Scottish Cup, will not be able to restart until February.
The suspension will be reviewed on March 1.
However, NCFA president Iain Whitehead says no estimated date has been set for the resumption of the league.
He said once the green light is cleared, teams will need at least two weeks of training to get fitness back to play competitive football again.
Whitehead says NCFA chiefs are keen to avoid the scenario of last season of declaring the campaign null and void.
He remains confident the season can be completed.
“We have to remain optimistic,” said Whitehead.
“We didn’t expect to be back playing this month anyway, although teams hoped they could get back training this month.
“It is starting to look like there will be no amateur football as usual in April.
“We always aimed to get our season finished before the amateur season starts in the spring.
“It is hypothetical, but we could extend our season further than planned.
“But it also may question if people want to finish the season.
“We will look to finish our campaign and hopefully we can.”
Invergordon currently top North Caledonian League Division One with Tain outfit St Duthus in third place.
Alness United are second in Division Two, and are favourites to win the league with three games in hand.
No update has been given on the amateur football season which is traditionally held between April and September.
All summer football was suspended in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic, which forced the cancellation of the Highland Amateur Cup.
Whitehead indicated one amateur football association in the Highlands has reported to him they would look to delay their season until June, when the situation with the virus has improved.
The SFA will review the suspension of lower league football on March 1.