Ely boss urges league to state plans in bid to finish sparkling season

Ely City boss watches on

Ely City joint-boss Luke McAvoy (right) hopes the league will set out plans for a return to action in a bid to complete the season. - Credit: Daniel Mason

Ely City joint-boss Luke McAvoy is urging the Eastern Counties League to state its plans for a possible return to action in a bid to extend his side’s impressive season so far. 

The Robins sit fifth in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division despite a first league defeat since September in their last outing at FC Clacton, a week before Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions were enforced. 

McAvoy and joint-manager Ben Farmer only took charge of two matches following the previous lockdown to December 2, including a 1-1 draw at fellow top five side Walsham le Willows. 

“The Clacton game was a disappointment. It was like people could almost sense things were coming to an end,” McAvoy said. 

“We knew a lot of the surrounding area were in a lockdown I think, and we asked if the lads were happy to go.  

“None of them said they didn’t want to go, but it didn’t feel right. None of the club officials wanted to go, we turned up, played the game and got out. It didn’t feel like football.” 

Many clubs in Ely’s league decided not to play due to Covid-19 concerns before the first government review into the tier system, with some not wanting to play for at least another month. 

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Writing on Twitter, the Thurlow Nunn League said all football had been suspended until further notice, with another review due to take place tomorrow (Wednesday). 

Ely are scheduled to face Whitton United on Saturday, January 9 at the Demcom Stadium, but McAvoy believes the team will only return until a plan is confirmed. 

“Until something is sorted out that everyone will be involved in, and unless everyone is going to be involved, I don’t think the club will want to start again," he said.

“There’s a lot to look at and be proud of this season. Ely’s a club that has been floating around the bottom, and our targets at the beginning of the season were not to be in a relegation fight. 

“I think the only way we can get people to be motivated is the league need to set out how they are going to finish the season. If the league set a plan and that everyone buys into it, then everyone can get motivated.”