Hill struggling to see season conclusion

John Dibsdall on the tractor rolling the Southern Road surface ahead of the Toolstation Western Leag

John Dibsdall on the tractor rolling the Southern Road surface ahead of the Toolstation Western League Premier Division meeting with Wellington. Picture: ETFC - Credit: Archant

Exmouth Town manager Kevin Hill has conceded that he finds it very difficult to envisage a scenario that will see the Toolstation Western League complete all fixtures this season. 
The latest disruption in a campaign of interruptions stems from the understandable reluctance for Town to play against clubs in a higher tier of the Covid restrictions. 
It all added up to a complete postponement of the Christmas fixture schedule for Exmouth.  
“The club does not want to play tier three clubs at present and it is mainly down to protecting the safety of everyone at Exmouth Town,” said Hill. 
“It’s not just the players and coaching staff, but also those vital volunteers and people working behind the scenes, some of whom are in the vulnerable category. 
“I find it very hard to see the season being completed because the weather is another factor to consider. 
“Unless we go right through to the middle of the summer, or beyond, it is going to be impossible to play all the games. 
“We’ve only played 11 games in the league so far and if we don’t play again until the end of January, you’re looking at trying to cram in 30-odd games by early May. 
“It is just not practical for any club at our level. 
“The players are on board with the situation, nobody really knows what will happen next and all we can do is keep the lads as informed as possible. 
“I’ve left it with the club to let me know when the next game is going ahead and we will prepare accordingly.” 
One alternative that has been quietly suggested by Hill, if the Western League is unable to continue, would be a round-robin tournament involving Devon clubs, who are all currently in tier two of the Covid restrictions. 
“A small competition with Devon sides could keep clubs ticking over until we start afresh next season,” said Hill. 
“There are enough teams to generate interest, with clubs like ourselves, Tavistock, Plymouth Parkway, Tiverton, Willand, perhaps even Bideford and Barnstaple. 
“It is not ideal but it would generate some revenue for clubs.” 

Exmouth Town manager Kevin Hill. Picture: GERRY HUNT

Exmouth Town manager Kevin Hill. Picture: GERRY HUNT - Credit: Archant


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