LA Munster Senior League is planning a return to action on the weekend starting Thursday, January 27.
An FAI decision on Thursday to postpone FAI Intermediate Cup matches to the weekend of February 18, with FAI Junior Cup matches played a week earlier, gave the MSL the opportunity to schedule a date of back for local action after the seasonal break. for the Christmas period has been extended due to the increase in Covid-19 cases.
The original weekend dates for these National Cup competitions were January 15 (junior) and January 22 (intermediate) which gave participating MSL teams Rockmount (v Inchicore), Carrigaline United (v Malahide United) and Everton (v Bonagee United) in the Intermediate Cup, and Cobh Wanderers (v Freebooters) in the FAI Junior Cup, all absent, little time to prepare.
Provincial Cup games at the senior and junior levels have also been postponed, although a date has not yet been decided for these games.
With the return of the Leinster Senior League and Ulster Senior League this weekend, it would have given teams in those leagues an advantage ahead of the next National Cup games if the original cup dates had been maintained.
Ahead of the FAI’s decision to change those cup dates on Thursday, Munster Senior League President John Finnegan had insisted that the four MSL clubs involved in the fixtures would not play them without having at least one game of competition under their belt, although they would have had a small window to do so.
The FAI’s decision to postpone Cup matches not only gave the MSL more leeway to ensure that their representative clubs were not at a disadvantage, but it also allowed the league to set a date for a return to local action for all their teams. in the upper and lower classes.
The Munster Senior League management committee met with the clubs online Thursday where plans to return to action were discussed, in what Finnegan described as “a very productive meeting”.
“Fixing the Intermediate Cup and Junior Cup games for this month has caused complications for the league,” admitted Finnegan.
“We wouldn’t have let all four teams play these games without having played at least one competitive game first, but the FAI’s decision to postpone the Cup games for a few weeks means we can bring all the teams back at the same time. time, which is what we wanted to do, but safely.
“We can do it now and make sure our clubs in domestic competitions have at least two games played before these big cup games.”
Finnegan also explained that local cup competitions in the senior and junior classes have been postponed, with league games taking priority.
âThe plan is to finish all competitions; we want to finish all the competitions, but we will focus on the leagues when we come back.
Additionally, clubs won’t have to wait until January 27 to see the action, with friendlies allowed from the weekend of January 21.
âTeams can play friendlies from January 21 and we will have a full set of matches for the following weekend.
âAll friendlies must be sanctioned by the league and there will also be locker room protocols; we will inform the clubs of these protocols shortly, âadded Finnegan.