Bell calls for extension to season

AFC Portchester coach Louis Bell
AFC Portchester coach Louis Bell
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AFC Portchester coach Louis Bell believes the Wessex League should extend the season as the fixture backlog starts to bite.

Like most teams in the Wessex League, the Royals have been left kicking their heels as the recent poor weather has played havoc with their games.

Not surprisingly, their visit to Bournemouth Poppies tomorrow is in doubt because of the rain.

And Bell believes giving teams extra time to fulfil their fixtures may be in order.

‘The common sense thing to do would be to extend the season,’ he said.

‘We are in February and have only played half our league games.

‘Teams are going to be playing three times a week and that isn’t fair on clubs and players.

‘We are not full-time and most players have jobs and families to consider.

‘It puts a lot of pressure on people and teams are forced to field weakened teams.

‘That makes it all a bit of a lottery and gives the league a false slant.’

Moneyfields strikers Warren Hunt and Steve Hutchings are facing an extended time out of the game because of the weather.

Both players are currently serving two-match bans but after six weeks they are little closer to completing them.

‘It is an increasingly crazy situation,’ said Moneyfields manager Miles Rutherford.

‘We have all been affected by the weather but it has hit them more than most.

‘We might as well have had a two-month winter break for all the football we have played.’

Moneys’ Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final against Hayling United last night became the latest victim of the weather.

The Copnor club are due to visit Whitchurch United in the premier division tomorrow but Rutherford believes the weather looks set to scupper that one, too.

Horndean manager Dave Carter also reckons their home game against Totton & Eling is in doubt.

Carter is frustrated because his team were showing good form before the weather intervened.

‘We finished in 11th last year and we are looking to better that,’ he said.

Fareham make the short trip to local rivals Folland Sports tomorrow, weather permitting.