UK news Liam Beckett: In a time where we need sport back, why can't Championship and Premier Intermediate sides be classed as elite? last news
MetiNews.Com - Despite the recent surge in this seemingly never ending Covid-19 pandemic, I'm really pleased that Irish League football is back on the sport menu as planned - but sadly, we are minus some friends.
Breaking News ! "Despite the recent surge in this seemingly never ending Covid-19 pandemic, I'm really pleased that Irish League football is back on the sport menu as planned - but sadly, we are minus some friends. Its elite status paved the way for the Danske Bank Premiership to kick-off, but it's the definition of 'elite' that I'm struggling with.I'm also baffled about why Bluefin Sport Championship and Premier Intermediate League clubs couldn't have been trusted and given the exact same chance to operate safely and responsibly, particularly without too much of a financial impact into the bargain.Obviously, the Irish Football Association and the Northern Ireland Football League are adhering to guidance from the Northern Ireland Executive and who am I to question qualified medical experts over why only Premiership football should get the green light to commence the season, while the other two Leagues didn't?How can anyone determine an 'elite' football differential based on the evidence of government officials and medical experts? Did they also have consultations with proper football people?Let there be no doubt that this killer virus has the potential to not only destroy our economy but many lives as well, but surely we have got to find some common ground to arrive at a suitable and acceptable balance somewhere in the middle?Most people I know are completely exhausted mentally and emotionally with the restrictions and subsequent hardships over the last six months, so an even more expansive resumption of outdoor sport would go some way in returning people to even a minimal degree of normality.I must also say that despite a lot of medical evidence - much of it conflicting, I might add - I still feel we have had to endure some very questionable crisis management where outdoor sport is concerned. In my opinion, Championship and Premier Intermediate clubs are perfectly capable of properly supervising and managing outdoor training and playing with proper track and tracing procedures in place in as good - if not better - a fashion than many other commercial examples.This time is, after all, supposed to be a circuit-breaker rather than a full lockdown.Of course I am also only too aware that this country has many highly educated intellectuals who may well be extremely adept at major decision making, but sometimes problem solving also requires a bit of good old fashioned common sense - which, unfortunately, has become a pretty scarce commodity even in every day life.Not only can I not fathom how the powers that be differentiate on medical safety terms between Premiership, Championship and Premier Intermediate League football, I also can't accept that it's deemed okay to walk indoors around a shopping centre but unacceptable to train and play football outdoors in a controlled environment. Excuse me while I scratch my head in astonishment. We must nevertheless also be thankful for small mercies and with the public's health and wellbeing absolutely top of the priority list, I would take this opportunity to appeal to all Irish League fans - and in particular those who are fortunate enough to get a ticket to see the action - please don't let the rest of us or the sport down.Comply with all the relevant advice, restrictions and guidelines, always keep your distance and don't forget to think of others as well as yourselves.Enjoy the game in the hope that there's an end to this madness and a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel very soon.It's my bald ambition to see Angela's charity trek prosperSurely anyone who knows anything about Irish League football will be well aware of Angela McKibbin.
.Having been a victim of the affliction herself, Angela has twice undergone major brain surgery and is now currently 17 months seizure free, which is absolutely fantastic news.The final stretch of her fundraising walk will take place next Sunday when she'll be trekking from Seaview to Solitude and then on to Windsor Park and The Oval before returning to Seaview.If the donations keep coming in and Angela reaches her intended total, then - wait for it - she is going for a Beckett-esque complete shave of her head.That's why we must all try our best to help her reach that magical sum if we possibly can and then she won't be able to continually rib me about my crystal ball look for a while - and might even enable me to give her some stick for a change!Nevertheless and all joking aside, what a courageous girl and what an example of kindness, thought and compassion Angela is to the rest of us.So if you can spare a few bob, then why not click onto www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Angela-McKibbin5 and make your donation?I know Angela and the charity will be most grateful.Hughes loss to the gameI enjoyed a round of golf at Galgorm this week with my good friend, the former Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Fulham defender - not to mention Northern Ireland legend - Aaron Hughes.It was during the usual chit-chat on the fairways - and indeed deep rough, if truth be told - that Aaron was telling me just how difficult he has found it to stay involved in football ever since he called a halt to his playing career.Currently in the process of attaining his A Licence coaching qualification, Aaron is keen to stay involved but it's incredible to think that even someone with his playing CV and exemplary disciplinary record (he was never red-carded once) during a long and distinguished career is finding it anything but easy to find a niche back into the game - and of course the coronavirus pandemic hasn't helped his search either.However, at least it's a relief to know that someone of Aaron's calibre who played at the very highest level for club and country is staying on in the sport.With a combination of his exceptional practical experience and now his coaching qualifications, just think of the benefits and guidance he will be able to offer the younger players coming through; it will be invaluable.In fact, on a personal note, I would like to see former quality Northern Ireland players, such as Aaron, who are in possession of all the necessary coaching qualifications, retained in some capacity within the Irish Football Association structures and not lost to other jobs or federations, but surely that only boils down to a bit of common sense does it not?"
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