Anthony Gorman has urged Donegal’s soccer clubs not to dismiss the FAI’s discussions around a move to ‘calendar year’ football.
Soccer chiefs are exploring the option of moving all football to a calendar season – where a season would start after February 1 and be completed before November 30.
FAI President Donal Conway and the FAI’s Club and League Development Officer, Ger McDermott, were in Donegal last month to meet with leagues and clubs.
There was a unanimous stance against any such plans at that meeting, but Letterkenny Rovers coach Gorman believes the plans could work.
“Everybody needs to look at the bigger picture,” Gorman said.
“The calendar runs from January to December.
“If they’re trying to condense things from February to November, I think it’s fine.
“We’ve had a lot of rain in our recent winters and we haven’t, overall, had much football played from December to February.
“There is a fear factor there. A lot of clubs think they’ll be competing with the GAA, but the calendar season could operate in the traditional sense.
“We can go from August-December, take a break and go from February to May.”
The Ulster Senior League ran a summer football season for several seasons before switching to the traditional format.
However, Gorman pointed out: “The reason it didn’t work in the USL was because of the overlapping seasons – not because summer football didn’t work, as such. “Players were jumping ship – both ways – at different stages of the year. That put a lot of pressure on clubs trying to get teams at the end of the season.”
The former Finn Harps manager is acutely aware of the volume opposition against a move to a change – but Gorman believes that a solution can be found.
“I think it’s wrong to dismiss it totally when there is a way of working around it,” he said.
“Clubs can’t just sit back, fall out with the FAI and say: ‘This can’t happen’. Clubs have to come up with their own ideas and see how this can work. It makes sense to play games when the pitches are playable.
“Clubs had a voice at the meeting, but what about the players?
“Players want to train and play in better weather and on better pitches.
“Letterkenny Rovers trained last Thursday night and it rained heavily for the full hour. We come in soaked and we’re trying to do a bit of coaching with boys standing about freezing.”Tags: