Plans for new Connacht Senior League are temporarily shelved

Keith Kelly

PLANS for the relaunch of the Connacht Senior League this September have been temporarily shelved due to a lack of sufficient interest amongst clubs, but two of the main driving forces behind the plans insist the league will kick-off next year after a 14 year absence.

The Administrator of the Connacht FA, Art Friel, admitted to Tribune Sport this week that too few clubs had given a firm commitment to take part in initial plans to relaunch the league this year, and as a result it would definitely not be going ahead as planned.

“No, it definitely won’t be going ahead this year – to be perfectly honest, there was not sufficient interest from clubs. We are looking at launching it next year, but a lot will depend on the interest of League of Ireland sides in particular in taking part,” he said.

It is believed that Sligo Rovers, Athlone Town and Longford Town had all been approached about joining the league for the planned September kick-off, but it is believed the fact that the CSL would not be running in conjunction with the Airtricity League of Ireland made involvement less attractive to those clubs.

However, spokespersons for both Mervue United and Salthill Devon said this week that the delay in the proposed CSL would not impact on plans to have a unified Galway side playing in the League of Ireland next season.

“The Connacht Senior League was always being planned for March, the September date was never realistic, and Mervue United fully expect to take a full part in the league when it is launched,” a spokesperson for Mervue United said.

In relation to plans for a single Galway side, the spokesperson said that proposal was still very much alive, saying that discussions have been ongoing, and that a lot of progress has been made on the proposal.

“The steering committee is meeting next week, but all sides have come a long way and it is still very much the plan to have a single Galway side in the League of Ireland next season,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for Salthill Devon also said the belief was the new CSL would be launched in March, which would not only suit the League of Ireland sides, but also any potential Mayo clubs interested in getting involved, as the junior game there is also played on a ‘summer season’ format.

“As far as we are concerned, the CSL is on track, although there is some uncertainty over when it will start. We understand it will kick-off in March, and when it does transpire, we want to play in it,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that Salthill Devon continued to support the plans for a single Galway side to play in the League of Ireland, saying the plan “was all about developing football in Galway”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.