Alan Pattullo: It's going to be hectic but surely playing the season out is better than null and void option as lower leagues prepare to resume

I bow to no-one in my admiration for Craig Easton, the former footballer and now assistant manager of Cowdenbeath.

Gary Bollan (left) and his Cowdenbeath assistant Craig Easton are not happy with hectic schedule as lower league football resumes
Gary Bollan (left) and his Cowdenbeath assistant Craig Easton are not happy with hectic schedule as lower league football resumes

And he is typically excellent in the latest podcast from Nutmeg magazine, which begins with him addressing the matter of this weekend’s return to football in the lower leagues. He’s not happy and explains why as articulately as ever.

I find myself reacting like I did when listening to BBC Scotland’s Sportsound last weekend, where they were debating this same subject. Gary Bollan, Easton’s manager at Cowdenbeath, was also against it, likewise Forfar Athletic manager Stuart Malcolm. I don’t get this resistance to lower leagues resuming.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

It’s understandable there might be some disquiet over a schedule that has, in some cases, left clubs facing the prospect of five games in ten days.

It’s a tough programme, no doubt. And the quality will likely suffer. There will of course be a slightly higher risk of part-time players with jobs to maintain contracting Covid but then this was the case before football stopped again in December.

As for injury risk, it’s up to clubs to manage this by rotating players as much as they can. While not ideal, it surely trumps the season being null and voided.

These players are privileged to be able to start playing again while the rest of us are willing May 17 – when non-elite contact sports can begin once more - to come round as quickly as possible.

One of the great maxims uttered by professional and part-time footballers alike is how playing games is always preferable to training. This is what is essentially happening for a short period.

A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.