Honiton Town disappointed at the cancellation of all football

Action from the Honiton Town 6-3 defeat at Bovey Tracey. Picture: ANDREW SYMONDS

Action from the Honiton Town 6-3 defeat at Bovey Tracey. Picture: ANDREW SYMONDS - Credit: Archant

Honiton Town manager Liam Raybould has conceded it was a big shame that no mini tournament has been organised to end the football season. 
After much discussion, the South-West Peninsula League took the difficult decision to abandon their plans for a regional competition in April and May. 
“I was a little disappointed because we had hoped something could be organised between those clubs that did want to play,” said Raybould. “For those clubs that didn’t want to play, it is totally their prerogative. 
“The managers I spoke to were keen to play something and we were the same at Honiton Town. 
“We understand the financial aspect with bars not being open but it was more for the players, and their mental health. 
“We want people to play sport and just get out of the house after such a long time. I’ve got a good friend at Brixham FC and we would love to get something organised if possible. 
“I think there is some ruling that might make it a little difficult. You can have training games but not competitive friendly fixtures, so it is a grey area. 
“Whatever we can do, it will be for the players because the routine has been just work for people over the last six months. 
“I’ve hardly seen some of my closest friends for months and the players just want to be out on the pitch again.” 
The Peninsula League statement said that the Board had looked into the possibility of two end of season cups, one knock out and one group-based, after 32 of the 40 member clubs indicated their interest. 
However, with the news that the return of fans is not on the horizon and severely restricted hospitality options at club houses, “The board were unanimous that without the return of fans, at least in the previous Covid secure way used earlier in the season, that clubs would not be able to afford to play these matches as no admission and no secondary spend would be possible. We are also concerned that clubs run by volunteers, cannot reasonably be expected to police the ‘no fans’ rules.” 

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