Belfast Telegraph

Winter break could enhance the quality of Irish League, says Tipton

By Graham Luney

Warrenpoint Town boss Matthew Tipton believes a winter break could benefit the Irish League and raise the standard of football in the Danske Bank Premiership.

The freezing weather conditions have badly disrupted the fixture programme with the League Cup semi-final between Ballymena United and Cliftonville at the Showgrounds postponed three times.

Next Saturday's final will need to be put back if another attempt to play the last-four battle is unsuccessful tomorrow.

Cliftonville's trip to Warrenpoint this weekend has been moved to Tuesday night.

Tipton said: "The League Cup semi-final saga was an absolute shambles really, and it's affected our league programme. I think we always try to be professional but when fixtures are being moved around so often it has a knock-on effect on training and the players' work as well.

"There is talk of starting the season earlier but, then again, I can remember a game on the opening day being wiped out by the wet weather, so there's no easy answer, but a winter break could be looked at.

"I'm open to anything that improves the standard of our game and you aren't going to see good football played on poor pitches. The snow does affect the surfaces and when you have people walking over it that can make it worse."

Meanwhile, Tipton isn't considering making a return to competitive action as a goalkeeper despite going between the sticks on Wednesday night as Town's second string overcame a Crusaders side 5-4 at Seaview.

"We had two young lads who couldn't make it to Belfast so I stepped in, but from the scoreline you wouldn't say the keepers were on top," he added.

Belfast Telegraph


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