The WoSFL have finally made things easy for themselves by bringing the curtain down on their inaugural season.

Elected officials who had stoically persisted in attempts to resume the playing of their leagues (despite a plethora of Covid-19 obstacles put in their way) were forced to accept defeat following Nicola Sturgeon’s “roadmap” announcement in the Scottish Parliament citing Monday 17th May as the date for full contact training and matches to restart.

The news came as a hammer blow to a WoSFL Board whose own release just  seven days previously  had stated their intention to declare the  season as null and void unless substantially earlier deadlines for training (April 3rd)  and the return of competitive matches (17th April) could be met.

The inevitable consequences of the Scottish Government’s latest update acted to evoke a terse response from WoSFL Chairman Matt Bamford last Wednesday evening which read

“The Board of the West of Scotland Football League have confirmed that following the statement by the First Minister yesterday, the remainder of the 2020/21 League football season has been cancelled and will be declared null and void.

An update regarding the South Challenge Cup will be announced in due course once we have discussed this with the other three leagues that participate in the competition.

This decision will allow clubs to focus and to look forward and prepare for next season, details of which will be issued in due course.”

Sure to be left feeling more disappointed than most are ambitious trio  Clydebank, Darvel and Irvine Meadow whose outstanding `off the pitch ` achievements in gaining  SFA Licensing approval will  now become  devalued by the loss of eligibility to take part in the Lowland League play-offs that would have been a given had any of them been crowned eventual Premier Division Champions.

A sore one without doubt, however it has to be said all three clubs will not go unrewarded for their unstinting infrastructure improvements of the past twelve months, not least of all financially, in light of their new licensed status bringing automatic entry into next season’s lucrative Scottish Cup proper.

Yet neither can it be denied that future step-up aspirations are about to come up against considerably stiffer competition should the similarly determined likes of Kilwinning Rangers, Rob Roy, Rutherglen Glencairn , Cumnock and Auchinleck Talbot achieve SFA approval.

Meanwhile, it’s thought the stated delay on making any firm decision on the South Challenge Cup is because the 2020/21 quest to land the Soccer Sports sponsored silverware, currently at the Second Round stage, has also involved  participants from the EoSFL, SoSFL and Lowland League whose preference may well be to play out the competition to a conclusion during next season rather than null and void all the outcomes up to now.

Talks will be taking place which will undoubtedly be of great interest to WoSFL Fixtures Secretary Kennie Young, already tasked with more than his fair share of difficulties in trying to fit in 38 league matches next season (Premier Division sides only).

Adding to his headache are proposals in the offing for a significantly more centred West of Scotland Cup for clubs through in these parts while it’s also been muted in some quarters for a place to be found in this ever demanding fixtures schedule for the Scottish Junior Cup.

The impact of Coronavirus has prevented the 136 year old competition from being played over  the past two seasons but it’s believed the idea has been floated of it becoming the top Cup competition for all non-league clubs ,inclusive of those continuing to play under the auspices of the SJFA in the North Region and both their East of Scotland North and South Premiership Divisions.