MSL expects no group training or games until March

The Midland Schoolboy/Girls League (MSL) has said that it doesn't expect collective training or games to resume until March at the earliest.

In an update for all football clubs affiliated to the league, MSL secretary Derek Collins said: "The MSL committee are committed to return to playing out our full league season in 2021 as soon as the government, HSE and the FAI deem it safe for all to return to training and playing games."

"Our season so far has been interrupted with no games from October. Non-contact training has stopped as the Covid-19 virus grips the nation," he stated.

Mr Collins acknowledged that the coronavirus situation had "escalated drastically" over the Christmas period.

He said the league understands why "no more information" will be forthcoming from government bodies until the start of February regarding the return of training and playing games.

"Realistically if all goes well, we are probably looking at March at the earliest to return to training and then back to playing matches. Both the SFAI and the FAI will have to extend the season for all winter leagues," Mr Collins continued.

However, he pointed out soccer's governing bodies will not change transfer rules or extend the closing date to sign any new players. And Mr Collins reminded all clubs that they should have all players registered with the league on the FAI's online system before the closing date.

"We hope to play out a full season from the moment the government and the FAI guidelines allow us to return safely," he said.

Mr Collins also revealed that it is hoped to hold a Zoom call with clubs in early February in order to obtain their views as to what they would like to happen.

"We encourage all our clubs and their members to follow all the government guidelines and encourage all their boys and girls to continue their individual training at home," he added.

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