With news breaking that the Highland Stags have withdrawn from their 2019 Associate campaign, the programme has shared the following statement with DblCoverage.com emphasising their continued aspirations for league entry.
The team noted that difficulties scheduling Associate fixtures lead to the committee’s decision to withdraw, and instead focus on approaching a 2020 Associate campaign with a full head of steam.
The Stags shared:
Last Monday, the Highland Stags committee made the decision to enter the 2019/20 offseason eight weeks before the final week of the 2019 associate process where games can be played. We intend to continue pursuing league entry and intend to remain in the associate process in 2020.
One of the motivating factors behind this decision was being unable to arrange dates for associate games (particularly home ones ) that worked for all the parties required for an associate fixture (from opposing teams, an available home ground to referees and assessors etc.).
As a result of this, we have only been able to play one away associate game in 2019 so far. This means that we would have needed to somehow fit in 3 home associate games and an additional away associate game in a narrow 4 week window (this is because opposition teams, grounds, assessors and referees require plenty of notice before each game) which was determined by the committee to be unfeasible.
Another motivating factor behind the decision was that the lack of games resulted in a drop in attendance at our scheduled practices towards the back end of the year as players want to play games.
This early finish gives our players and coaches, who have been working hard on the practice field since late January, a hard earned break after what at times has been a frustrating season. The early finish also enables our committee to concentrate on the 2020 season and ensure that our paperwork and club structures are in place, as early as possible, for next year’s associate process.
We look forward to getting back into the thick of it in 2020.