Carluke Rovers skipper Mark Cassidy: We won't abandon ship
Despite the prolonged frustration of being inactive for large parts of the past two seasons due to coronavirus restrictions, Carluke Rovers skipper Mark Cassidy insists that he and the vast majority of his team-mates want to soldier on playing football.
Cassidy’s comments come following the stark admission from Rovers boss Mark Weir last week that he knows several friends in the game – royally scunnered by the effects of Covid-19 – who are ready to pack in playing.
"This has definitely been my most difficult time as a footballer,” Cassidy told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette.
"The toughest thing about it was probably the long pre-season.
"Three or four months pre-season with no real hope of getting back into competitive football any time soon.
"That was quite disheartening. A lot of people kind of lost motivation while just continually training with no outcome to it.
"But 100 per cent, we at the Rovers want to get back playing football.
"I think we’ve got quite a close knit team where the boys are friends off the park, friends with the gaffer as well.
"I think a lot of the boys are looking forward to getting back into it.
"I would say 95 per cent of the team will probably be there next season as well, just due to that close knit group that we’ve got.
"So I don’t think there will be anyone at the Rovers who will want to chuck it. But I can understand why folk would with such a long lay-off, I think especially older boys if they’ve not been training and they have kids to look after.”
The West of Scotland Football League has confirmed that its four divisions – within which Rovers play in Conference B – will be declared null and void if clubs are not allowed to resume full contact training by April 3, therefore allowing for the resumption of competitive fixtures no later than April 17.
Cassidy expects the 2020-21 campaign to be wiped from the record books, adding: "Seeing as the leagues aren’t really competitive this season either, there’s nothing really stopping them from declaring it the leagues null and void because none of the teams have anything to play for anyway.
"I think most of the clubs will be in agreement with starting afresh for next season.”