Fears over league fu­ture

The Oban Times - - SPORT -

THE LOCHABER wel­fare league could be set to end af­ter 60 years.

The once-pop­u­lar foot­ball league, which used to have two di­vi­sions, has dwin­dled this sea­son with six teams start­ing but only four fin­ish­ing.

Fort Wil­liam Un­der-17s and cham­pi­ons Caol United pulled out dur­ing the sea­son leav­ing Mal­laig, Bal­lachul­ish, Ne­vis Range and Tekker­slo­vakia to fin­ish the de­pleted sea­son.

Ron­ald Weg­ner, league or­gan­iser, said: ‘De­spite teams only play­ing once a week from April to Au­gust and the league sub­si­dis­ing the cost of play­ing parks, there seems a lack of in­ter­est and com­mit­ment from play­ers want­ing to play 11-a-side foot­ball .

‘The chances of Lochaber pro­duc­ing any more top class play­ers seem re­mote and it is feared this year could be the last wel­fare league. It has al­ways been pop­u­lar in the past.’

This year’s wor­thy league win­ners were Mal­laig FC, who won the 2016 wel­fare league af­ter suf­fer­ing only one de­feat all sea­son.

The club were also crowned cham­pi­ons of the John Baird, Uis­dean MacDon­ald and Adrian Duthie cups.

Mal­laig’s Andy Cun­ning­ham was the league’s player of the year and Ross Dou­glas top scorer.

Ron­ald Weg­ner and An­gus MacKay, process plan­ning man­ager for Ma­rine Har­vest, present Mal­laig cap­tain Neil Cameron with the tro­phy.

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