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Decision to end Highland League early amid coronavirus pandemic was "easy" says Forres Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley


By Jonathan Clark


THE decision to end the Highland League early amid the coronavirus pandemic was an “easy” one, says Forres Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley.

At a meeting of all clubs in Lossiemouth on Saturday, a unanimous decision was made to end the season and award the title to league leaders Brora Rangers.

The league was originally suspended on Friday, March 13, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mechanics boss Charlie Rowley said: “Playing for points is important, but under the circumstances it is an easy decision to make.

Forres Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley and Formartine United assistant manager Russell Anderson. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Forres Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley and Formartine United assistant manager Russell Anderson. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

“Everyone is on the same wavelength, because everyone is in the same situation.

“There were still positions to play for in terms of the top four, but all in all everybody is thinking along the same lines and I am in agreement too.

“There was never any doubt Brora were going to be champions. The best team always wins the league and they have proven that again.”

With Mechanics sitting seventh in the league, they are not going to be caused any problems – on the field – by the decision to end the league prematurely.

Rowley added: “We are not bearing the brunt of any decision. As far as I’m aware – no positions have been set.

“There is rumours of average points deciding the rest of the league, but I’m not sure how they will work it.”

Average points would see Forres drop one place, below Nairn Country, and finish eighth.

Eyes are now turning towards next season.

With no training, Rowley has told his players to keep safe first and foremost, with fitness becoming a priority when pre-season begins.

When that will be remains to be seen.

“We gave them a bit of directive to keep themselves fit, but now we know the season is finished there is no necessity for the fitness levels to be right up there,” Rowley said.

“The players should keep themselves safe and healthy.

“We are sadly missing football and hope to come back to pre-season – but that is probably a wee bit unlikely, as it’s normally the second week in June.”

The Highland League Cup semi finals, due to take place on March 14, will be held over and played at the start of next season.



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