AQUINAS manager Barry Baggley feels the Northern Amateur Football League has taken the correct decision to cancel their leagues.

The NAFL was set to be played in a regionalised format this season due to the pandemic with each division split into two sections.

Rosario, who missed out on promotion to the Premier Division following the cancellation of last year’s Amateur Leagues, were due to compete in Division 1A Section B this season.

However, with time swiftly running out to play fixtures this season, Baggley feels teams can now focus on returning to action for a complete season of fixtures for 2021/22.

“We are obviously really keen to get back, but we’d rather go back to having a full season, rather than trying to play a season in two months,” said Beggley.

“I think it was unrealistic to have that many games before the end of the season.

“If we are allowed back to training next month, we need four weeks of training, so we wouldn’t be playing games until May.

“You’d be playing into June and back again for next season in August so I don’t know how it could have been done.

“So, in that sense, I’m glad we will be back playing a full season, but a part of me still wants to get back as soon as possible.

“This year’s NAFL was going to be regionalised in sections. I would have taken it as it is better than nothing.

“Now, we can go back in August and go full pelt and, hopefully, all the cup competitions will be the same.”

While the clarity is welcomed, the extended break for his players is something Baggley and other managers will have to manage.

Younger players may have become accustomed to not playing football on a Saturday.
However, the sense of grievance at being denied promotion last season ought to ensure that Rosario will have their full quota at training when they are given the green light to return.

“The boys on the Whatsapp are so keen to get back playing, it is unreal,” said the Rosario manager.

“In a way, this has probably prolonged some of their careers. A few of the boys in the mid-30s probably thought this would have been their final year.

“Now they are thinking of playing on. If anything, this last year has taught us how much you miss football – not just playing, but the social aspect as well.

“I am worried about a few lads who will find it hard to get motivated again. Hopefully, they’ll get back and get the enjoyment back. It is more the younger lads. When you are older and maybe have a wife and kids, you are eager to get out of the house!

“When younger lads drift away, maybe they get used to doing something else on a Saturday. Some boys have taken on delivery jobs and that. Hopefully, when the football starts up again, they’ll come back. I think we are lucky in that we were so close and so far from gaining promotion, we want to go and right that wrong and I think the boys will be up for it.”