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News Archive > Sport > Goonhavern Face Nervous Wait

Goonhavern Face Nervous Wait

By Tom Howe 15th January 2021

Goonhavern Face Nervous Wait
Goonhavern have applied for promotion to the Combination League

Secretary, David James, admits things look bleak for the Trelawny League season, suggesting anything later than a mid-February restart would have major ramifications.

The Trelawny set-up features 41 clubs and 51 teams who play across five divisions but none of which will be in action until February 13 at the very earliest, with organisers cancelling all games up to that date. Already playing catch up following a shutdown in November, which saw 100 Trelawny League fixtures postponed, James revealed he is now losing up to 25 more with each locked down week that passes.

In trying to squeeze the remaining games into the calendar, James also has to contend with the fact that the Trelawny has only two floodlit member clubs (Penzance and Wendron United); ground sharing agreements between the likes of St Ives Mariners and Praze; the students of Camborne School of Mines requiring April off; RNAS Culdrose only allowing one fixture to go ahead each weekend; the likelihood that higher level leagues will take priority in terms of pitches and a shortage of match officials.

“We are in a bit of a situation, like everybody else,” said James during an exclusive interview with the Voice. “We don’t know if it will be the middle of February or the end of March before dear old Boris says you can go and kick a ball around again. Every week we lose, there is less chance that the season is going to finish. We are trying to draft something up to be sent to the clubs, asking them what they want to do. We lost 100 games in November and every week that goes by [in lockdown] we are losing between 20 and 25 more.

“When we do actually get around to playing again and refixturing, the [SWPL] and [St Piran] have first choice of the pitches because they are FA leagues. That causes me the biggest problem. I understand their situation. They have cut off points by which they have to finish their season and have to get their games in. Once they start refixturing they are going to take my pitches for sure and I have got nowhere to go.

“Then we come to the second week of April and I have got 18 clubs that have to be off their pitches because of cricket. Those 18, if I haven’t got all their home games played by the second week in April, have nowhere to play. “It all depends how long we are off. If we start in the middle of February, we have got an outside chance if we can go right through to the end of May. If we go any further than that, we are in trouble. I think it will come from the county FA, the final decision. If we get to the end of March and we aren’t playing then the answer is simple.

“Until we get a date that anything can happen again, nobody can do anything. We are all sharing ideas about how we can try to finish the season, even if it means playing each other just the once and forming a table out of that or scrapping the season and trying to play a divisional cup. Anyone that loses in that would only get one game so that wouldn’t really benefit them. If we had a firm date then we could make some plans. I have the worst job of all the leagues because I have to fit in around [everyone else].

” Having seen the 2019-20 Trelawny season made null-and-void, James and his colleagues put the league’s cup competitions to one side in favour of focusing on and completing domestic matters this time around. While the traditional knockout competitions may now have to be scrapped completely, other matters of concern include promotion into the Combination League, something which James revealed Premier League pair Mawnan and Goonhavern Athletic have officially applied for.

“We were going to have a meeting in February to decide if the cups could be played. That was presuming, when we started in September, that we were going to play straight through.

“When we lost November, that was 100 games up the creek and if we have got six [lockdown] weeks, at least, that is another 150 which leaves 250 games to get back in and means no cups anyway.

“I have one or two people that keep saying ‘why can’t you give us fixture lists for the whole season’. I could but I guarantee three quarters of the games will be changed.

“The other problem we have is that we have to send our fixtures into referee appointments six weeks ahead. If leagues above us change their games around and take my pitches, technically I am not allowed to change fixtures for that month. I basically have to ask, have you got any referees free and can I change this over?

“Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. If I fixture 20 games, we have probably got 15 [that go ahead, due to a shortage of referees]. If I try to get a full programme in, we are eight, nine or ten games short.”

As well as all this, it is the Voice’s understanding that the suspension of football activity has seen talks stall regarding a potential merger between the Trelawny and Combination Leagues, something that would see the latter disbanded and worked into the former’s set-up.

By Tom Howe 15th January 2021

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