Yesterday, the Lancashire & Cheshire League announced a new plan to finish the season across all the divisions. The league have now decided to void the current league season in the eight divisions. Instead, a four league cup competition will be introduced, meaning that the Stretford Paddock FC 1st team and reserves will resume to play football once again.

The league have stated:

“The plan now is to run the four league cup competitions, originally in a divisional format, to give all of the teams the chance to play at least five fixtures followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and cup finals.”

Our first team will be placed into the Rhodes Cup. This competition will include teams from the Premier and Division One in four groups of six teams, playing each other other once with the top two teams in each group progressing to the quarter-finals.

Nairobi Newsam’s reserve side will be placed into the Wray Cup. This will feature teams from Division Two and Three, applying the same format which will be used in the Rhodes Cup.

The league secretary, Malc Kershaw said:

“We will look for the group matches to be played on Saturdays, avoiding midweek games where possible and there will be some adjustments where teams share pitches. Referees secretary Stephen Howard is confident that he has enough officials to cover the busy programme and hopefully we will not be affected by bad weather and more Covid restrictions as we look to provide an exciting and competitive end to another very difficult and frustrating season.”

The draw for all teams will soon be made. We will update and inform our followers regarding the new fixtures in due course. The schedule will begin on April 10 with the quarter-finals planned for May 15.

Manager, Stephen Howson said:

“I am sad to hear that the league isn’t going to continue. I think we’d have been able to finish, given the extension granted by the FA, but I understand not all clubs would be in a position to do that. So we welcome the shift in focus to a league cup to at least finish the season with some competitive football.

The prospect of playing sides from the division above excites me, I am eager to know what the level is and how we match up, as our goal is to be playing in that division as soon as we earn it.

I hope the lads are working hard doing whatever training they can to return as ready for action as they can be. There’s no margin for error as we come out of this and winning the competition is the only thing I’d consider a success.”

This is great news for everyone at Stretford Paddock FC. The staff, coaches and players have already been preparing and will continue to work hard to insure that both teams are ready to compete in our set cup competitions.

In the meantime, keep an eye out across our social pages for more updates regarding fixture releases.

Thank you for your continuted support.

Up The Paddock.

You can read the Lancashire & Cheshire League’s full update here:

Will Hobson

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