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The spread of coronavirus could end any hopes of the Highland League season reaching a conclusion, reckons Forres Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley.


By Craig Christie

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A null-and-void Highland League season is becoming a real possibility, according to the manager of the club which sat it all out.

Picture: Eric Cormack. .Deveronvale V forres Mechanics highland league.
Picture: Eric Cormack. .Deveronvale V forres Mechanics highland league.

Forres Mechanics were the only league member not to enter the current campaign due to fears over the pandemic, and with play suspended it looks like the Cans made a wise decision.

Mechanics’ boss Charlie Rowley insists there will be no “told you so” attitude from his club if the Highland League doesn’t restart.

However he believes the increase in Covid-19 cases will make things very difficult for league bosses to fulfil all remaining fixtures.

Rowley says there is a real possibility of the season being called null-and-void, and that all clubs including Forres, will begin again in August if it is safe to do so.

Forres Mechanics' manager Charlie Rowley. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Forres Mechanics' manager Charlie Rowley. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

“Hindsight is a great thing, but there was that sort of apprehension over whether or not we did it right,” he said.

“The club was adamant that they felt it was the right option for them, and I don’t think there’s any going back on that decision given the current circumstances.

“Nobody wants to be justified by not playing football, but when you can’t go to your work, but you are still expected to play football, that tells you a story.

“Nobody is saying we’re happy about our decision, but given the current
circumstances it’s hard
to argue against it, really.

“It was no surprise (to suspend play) given the new variants and the speed this virus is being passed on at. It’s the right decision and obviously now there needs to be further decisions made on whether they restart or put an end to the season.”

“Given that Strathspey haven’t even played one league game yet, and it
will be February at the very earliest, is it feasible to
start up again?” Rowley said.

“That’s the kind of questions that need to be answered by the Highland League clubs involved this season. I really don’t know, if they are adamant that there has to be a season finished, they will have to wait a while yet.

“My own personal view is that it’s just a waste of time. It doesn’t seem feasible to me.

“I understand that if they had got a continuation of games, then fine. But with this suspension there’s no guarantees that there won’t be another suspension further down the line.

“My personal opinion would be to just null and void the season, start afresh next summer, and take it from there.

“But there’s a lot of questions that need to be answered before they could come to that decision.”


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