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Glentoran boss McDonald open to summer switch

Glentoran manager Alan McDonald would welcome any move to look at the introduction of summer football in Northern Ireland - but he wouldn’t necessarily back switching the season.

The Oval boss has seen his team’s last two IFA Premiership games postponed and that came hot on the heels of their Irish Cup meeting with Limavady United abandoned at half-time when adverse weather affected the floodlights.

The teams will try again tonight in east-Belfast, but with arctic conditions predicted in Northern Ireland they are facing the prospect of another postponement.

Such occurances would be all but ruled out if the season matched that in the League of Ireland which runs from March to November, but traditionalists on this side of the border have never been keen to make such a move.

If tonight’s game does go ahead victory inside the 90 minutes would be welcome for the Glens as a replay on top of rearranged games is the last thing they need.

“There will always be people who would be for moving to summer football and others who will argue against it,” said McDonald.

“Certainly when you see what the elements have thrown up over the last couple of weeks there is a case to look at it.

“Summer football also means that you can play in the evenings without the need for floodlights, which may be favourable to clubs as well.

“I think as far as this season is concerned teams have improved, the quality of the league is better and whether or not that would improve again with summer football I can’t answer that.

“I think there are a lot of logistical things that need to be looked at and taken into account before any sort of decision could be taken.

“It isn’t something that I have thought a great deal about, I don’t know what the official line from Glentoran would be on summer football, but I know that it would be a complete change of tradition for people who are used to taking their holidays in the summer when the schools are off .”

The Glens trailed 1-0 to Limavady in the first meeting, but equalised before the abandonment.

After bowing out of the Irish Cup at the quarter-final last season to Donegal Celtic, McDonald is determined to make more of an impact in this season’s competition.

“The Irish Cup is a competition that is close to the hearts of the fans at Glentoran,” said McDonald. “It is one that the club has been associated with over the years and I want to go far in it.

“There is no way that we will take Limavady lightly or underestimate them.”

Belfast Telegraph


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