Southern Combination League teams hope to start a month from now

Teams in the Southern Combination League have been told to brace themselves for the season to start on Saturday, September 5.

Thursday, 6th August 2020, 3:00 pm
Lancing - who led the premier division when football was suspended - will be out to repeat their success when 2020-21 starts / Picture: Steve Robards

That’s the date when SCFL officials are hopeful of starting league fixtures following the latest advice from the government and FA.

League chairman Steve Nealgrove warned the scheduled start date could still change as officers were totally in the hands of the authorities above them.

“It looks like the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup will be on Tuesday, September 1, and that will involve many of our clubs, so the obvious conclusion to draw is that the league would start the following Saturday,” Nealgrove told us. “We are working towards that date but things are continually evolving.

“It does appear there are more and more local lockdowns being ordered around the country, though, so everyone will have to keep a close eye on that too.

“All we can do as a league is take advice directly from the FA, and we are hearing them from them weekly, and at times daily.”

With the hoped-for September 5 opening day in mind, the league’s general secretary is busy compiling some fixtures.

It may be that only early-season schedules are published at first, with the rest of the season to follow once things get under way.

Nealgrove said if an early September start did prove possible for league games, there should be no problem ending the season at the normal point.

Fixture working-out may be complicated by the Southwick FC saga. The Wickers, who were in division one last term, say they’ve been demoted into the Mid Sussex League, though the FA have said that’s not the case.