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Highland women's football season likely to be delayed

By Will Clark

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Nine clubs will be taking part in the SWF Highlands and Islands League for the 2021 campaign. Picture: Gair Fraser
Nine clubs will be taking part in the SWF Highlands and Islands League for the 2021 campaign. Picture: Gair Fraser

Caithness Ladies will be one of nine clubs competing in the Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) Highlands and Islands League for the 2021 season.

Brora Rangers and Sutherland Women's Football Club will also be among those seeking to challenge champions Clachnacuddin for the league title.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle Development and Nairn St Ninian will also be competing, along with Buckie Ladies Development and Northern Isles outfits Kirkwall City and Orkney.

However, the Highlands and Islands League looks unlikely to kick off as scheduled next month due to the impact of the pandemic.

The 2021 season was pencilled in to start on Sunday, March 14. While a postponement has not been confirmed, it is envisaged the season will start later than planned.

A statement from SWF said meetings will take place in the coming weeks to decide when the 2021 campaign can begin.

A spokesperson said: “A provisional season calendar was circulated to all clubs with an anticipated March 14 start date.

“However, with the current ongoing restrictions resulting in no football activity throughout the whole of the girls' and women’s game, this date is now looking unrealistic.

“We are in dialogue with the league management committee and are awaiting further updates from the Coronavirus Joint Response Group before progressing any further plans.”

The Highlands and Islands League was established in 2019 when eight teams took part. Clachnacuddin won the championship, with Lewis and Harris lifting the League Cup.

However, the Western Isles outfit, who were top of the division, had to pull out due to logistical issues which meant they could not fulfil matches.

All levels of women’s football in Scotland are currently suspended by the Scottish Football Association due to the impact of the pandemic.

A review to restarting the women’s game will take place on March 1.

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