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News Archive > Sport > Mackellar Calls Out For Radical Thinking

Mackellar Calls Out For Radical Thinking

By Tom Howe 15th January 2021

Mackellar Calls Out For Radical Thinking
Godolphin Atlantic’s Ash Winkworth, (left), in the thick of the action - but when will he and his football colleagues be allowed a return to play?

Newquay manager Tony Mackellar says it is unrealistic to expect the current South West Peninsula League (SWPL) season to be completed under its traditional format.

As England returned to lockdown restrictions from January 5, so did grassroots sport up and down the country, with non-elite football amongst the elements under suspension.

When and how the game can continue has been a hot topic since the curtain was brought down once again, with a number of different methods suggested to complete the 2020-21 season and avoid another null-and-void campaign.

In an interview with the Voice last week, league secretary, Phil Hiscox, suggested the campaign could be picked up during March and played to a conclusion. However, the Peppermints boss says measures put in place to finish this term would create a negative effect ahead of the 2021-22 season and beyond, when drawing a line in the sand and starting afresh may be the better option.

“It is a difficult one and I think everyone will have a different opinion,” admitted Mackellar. “I do not see how a team like Helston, for example, who have only played nine games, are going to play 29 games to finish the league. It is just not realistic. You could say we go into June but then we have affected another season. This season has been affected, we don’t need to affect next season too.

“Everything would be better if we came back properly prepared and ready to go for next season. If they are going to do something, they need to do points-per-game. I understand that teams need to go up and down. Do we try to play at least to the halfway mark? We are around mid table but there are teams at the bottom that should be going down and teams like Mousehole that should be going up. Unless there is going to be promotion or relegation, I do not see the point of just playing for the sake of it because you are adding a risk element. If there is nothing at the end of it, I don’t get it. That is the only reason you play, surely?

“I think you need a plan where you don’t play all the games, maybe just a percentage and then work the rest out. They could, to keep up interest, play the Senior Cup and we have heard that will be played in March. “That is a realistic thing and gives teams something to play for. You have two months to get through the rounds but, when you add the league into that, we wouldn’t be able to finish and I don’t think it is right that we are playing through June and potentially into July. Financially, it is not viable for a lot of clubs and what do you get from it? For mental welfare and the health aspect, let them go and train in an environment they are allowed but even that is tricky with the way [the virus] is spreading at the moment. That is a risk as well. I think this season is already a write-off. Anyone that has good momentum, you have had it killed. For me, I think we just start afresh again next season.”

After a reshuffling of the fixtures, eighth-place Newquay’s next scheduled game is currently pencilled in for Saturday, March 6 when they welcome old rivals St Austell to Mount Wise.

By Tom Howe 15th January 2021

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