Football is at a standstill, but the message is to stay safe

Donegal Schoolboys League PRO Tony McNamee says there's still plenty happening, despite the lockdown

Football is at a standstill, but the message is to stay safe

When the date came out for the start of the Donegal Schoolboys League, all coaches and their players were delighted to get back to what they love doing best and that's the game of football.
There were lots of games planned over a host of divisions all of which helps the younger players play 11 a-side for the first time.
This year - 2020 - was also going to be the year when we had the largest amount of teams ever.
There were 149 teams entered across the various divisions, with over 3,000 players registered and that's excluding the Youth League which was to start in April/May.
Due to the geographical spread of the county, the Donegal Schoolboys League is divided into three areas with a Fixtures Secretary looking after each area.
divide the League into three areas with a fixtures Secretary in each:
South Donegal - Karl McHugh
East Donegal - Mike Kelly
Letterkenny North West - Kieran McGrath
The league also organises games for U-9 and U-10 players which are non competitive and are played throughout the season.

Eany Celtic U-16s pictured last season


The new season started in early March but after just one round of games, we received confirmation on Thursday, March 12 from the SFAI to suspend all football activities with immediate effect. There has been no football played since.
As it stands, each area committee is keeping in touch regarding their fixtures schedules.
No one really knows at present, if and when football start again, but everyone involved in the Donegal Schoolboys League would agree that the health and safety of everyone in our Island is paramount.
In the meantime, we have coaches and clubs putting up virtual videos etc to keep everyone amused in these tough times.

Illistrin FC who play in the Letterkenny NW division


On the Donegal Schoolboys website, we have the SFAI sending on video clips daily to encourage players to practice at home.
It’s fantastic to see so many of our clubs and coaches encouraging different games and drills among their players - even while we are all a at home.
Raphoe Town FC are doing an amazing amount of work online for kids, players and parents. The club is not only overseeing different drills and skills, but there are colouring and wordsearch projects where the kids can find names of players and coaches of their club.
I'm sure like myself, everyone is missing the games but health is more important and hopefully soon, we will be out and about playing.
So the message to everyone is: keep safe and stay healthy everyone.

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