Billy Adams has questioned the direction being taken by WoSFL clubs, saying it’s laughable for many to be labelled as “professional”.

Reckoned to be the longest-serving manager at lower league level by some way, Billy has crammed in almost 25 years at the helm of famous old Possil outfit Glasgow Perthshire, currently languishing fourth from bottom of the Conference C pile with just four points yielded up from a mere handful of fixtures. 

His refusal to throw in the towel on a possible restart for his side’s league campaign saw him carrying out maintenance works on Keppoch Park’s playing surface and dressing rooms yesterday afternoon however his labours did not prevent him delivering a withering critique on the Shire’s experiences within the new set-up.

He slammed: “No doubt I’ll be accused of being a dinosaur in some quarters but I make no apologies for being old-school and thinking a lot of clubs like ours should have stayed as Juniors.

“Football at our level is all about close links forged with local communities and joining the WoSFL was never going to do us any favours in that respect not least because it is a further streamlining of the game to its detriment.

“You only have to look at the increasing number of young players being lost to football nowadays through sheer disillusionment from failing to make the grade at Pro-Youth level to realise it’s a problem set to get a whole lot worse unless a place can be found at the table for another level of the game other than amateurs or professional.

“For longer than even I can remember, the Juniors were that go-between and their role in Scottish  football cannot be underestimated when you think of the countless great players to be reared through its ranks including nine of the Lisbon Lions.

“Glasgow Perthshire’s move away was motivated by not wanting to be left behind at the start of last season but we will never forget our roots.”

Billy’s words might be seen to carry more weight in light of recent announcements indicating as many as 12 long-established amateur sides have declared expressions of interest for joining the WoSFL next season.

Said the Shire boss: “Up and coming clubs wanting to play at a higher level is understandable and should be encouraged but not if their ambitions are fuelled by nothing other than delusions of grandeur.

“Having an enclosed stadium instead of a public park in everything but name must be one of the pre-requisites for entry and clubs being classified as a professional when they are not paying out wages to their players should be another no-no.

“We simply cannot at the Shire because our income doesn’t allow it and I know of countless other clubs at Conference level (and above) in the same boat so it’s downright embarrassing when the SFA and other bodies term Tiers 6 and 7 as Professional in the same context as they would other part-timers such as Clyde and Albion Rovers.

“And in the bigger picture, the likes of Auchinleck Talbot, Pollok and Clydebank may have designs on graduating up through the leagues but I don’t believe theirs is a dream shared or hoped for by the vast majority of former Junior clubs.

“The prospect of leading the Shire up to face Elgin City on a Wednesday night doesn’t stir any of my juices or that of our loyal band of supporters but a derby match up against an Ashfield, Petershill or St Rochs certainly would.”

Next week’s planned SFA chaired meeting to discuss a possible restart date for lower league clubs has evoked mixed feelings for seasoned gaffer Adams.

He insisted: “I’d probably prefer it didn’t start up again and everyone’s efforts were channelled towards getting next season underway particularly if it means playing through the traditional close-season months as I’ve always believed summer football was the way forward for Junior clubs.

“One of the main arguments against it was holiday arrangements but Glasgow no longer shuts down for the Fair fortnight as it used to do and players nowadays are just as likely to be flying out to Spain or Portugal in mid-November or February as they would July.

Billy revealed: “You’ll most probably guess from my tone that I wasn’t 100% behind our club’s decision to play out this season and it would be true to say I had severe doubts over taking part in games without fans and the use of dressing rooms.

“Back in the SJFA-run days, I can recall several instances when Shire games were postponed on Health and Safety grounds because there was no hot water for showers yet we find ourselves in the farcical situation now when even cold showers are prohibited by coronavirus protocols and players are forced to change outside in all-weathers and travel home in soaking wet strips, on some occasions by public transport.

“It didn’t sit well with me or our club officials however our players voted to give it a go and Glasgow Perthshire as a club didn’t want to run the risk losing some of them if they moved away and signed elsewhere  in order to keep playing.

“I warned the guys about the potential difficulties likely to be faced, particularly in the winter months, but to be fair, not a single complaint has been uttered  and that speaks volumes about their enthusiasm and the togetherness in our camp.”

He added: “Lockdown restrictions have seen us do nothing whatsoever in the past few months and it was before Christmas when we last played a game so it will be like starting all over again (if a restart is given the thumbs up) and I just hope the powers-that-be show a bit of common sense and allow a few weeks at the very least to get the guys in shape”