Colin Spence, Co-CEO of Irvine Meadow: “I’ve by no means missed soccer a lot in my life.”

Irvine Meadow co-head Colin Spence insists he has never missed football in his life as the minor leagues raise hopes of a return to action.

Spence has not seen a ball in anger since beating Blantyre Victoria 3-2 in a Premier League clash in west Scotland on Boxing Day.

Successive postponements were quickly followed by the suspension of all football below the SPFL championship on January 11 amid increasing coronavirus cases.

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He found the last break in the game – now extended to March – the toughest since the pandemic almost a year ago.

“It was tough during the first suspension but it seems like it’s even more at home this time,” said Spence.

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“I’ve never missed football so much in my life and I think the players feel the same way.

“I’m just looking forward to being able to hit a ball again.

“Our trainer Mark Bellew kept the guys going with fitness sessions through Zoom, but this was definitely the toughest time yet.

Meadow hasn’t played since beating Blantyre on Boxing Day

“We keep our fingers crossed that the good news is not too far off. I definitely think we can play again this season.

“Cases keep coming and I think with life in general we get to the point where we need to go back to some sort of normalcy.”

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On Tuesday, the Scottish Football Association announced that all leagues below the SPFL championships would not be banned until March at the earliest.

West of Scotland League bosses have contingency plans in place should lower-league football ever get the green light.

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They scrapped all of the original games for the season and made a new schedule to make sure all teams play against each other at least once.

You want to hit a minimum of 50 percent of the games played, as that’s the threshold for declaring champions based on an average points-per-game formula.

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After the games were suspended, Spence turned his attention to achieving coaching qualifications that are essential to Meadow’s ambition to earn an SFA club license.

He booked two exams later this month and hopes to take an important third test shortly thereafter.

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