AUCHINLECK Talbot boss Tommy Sloan, says he is “delighted” that the new West of Scotland Football League (WoSFL) plans to kick-off in October.

League chiefs for the new set-up which will see all West Region junior sides join the pyramid system, have emailed teams confirming plans to start the season in October with training to resume in August provided COVID-19 continues to be suppressed.

However, Sloan admitted that playing games behind closed doors would not be an option and hopes by October fans will be able to attend.

The Talbot boss said: “It is positive news that there is a planned start date and it is something we can work towards albeit it is dependent on what happens with the virus.

“We are delighted with the announcement because there has not been a lot of positivity recently so hopefully we can start training in August and gear up for an October start.”

He added: “All the clubs at our level need the fans so they have to let fans in. We cannot play behind doors – that is a certainty in our minds.

“Playing in front of no fans is not what we or anyone wants. It is a must they let the fans in and come October we hope that will be fine to do.”

The chairman of the WoSFL, Dave McKenna, hopes that when the new league season starts, fans will be allowed to safely attend matches but he admitted that “everything is conditional on the control of the virus continuing the way it is”.

He said: “I know the players and coaches are all ready to get going with this new and exciting league. It would be a bit of a downer having all that buzz around if no one is there watching.

“If we were faced with the possibility of playing but without fans then we would need to talk to the clubs because the money they get from fans coming in is a very important part of how they survive.

“It is a big question whether you can afford to put on football matches and pay players if your main source of income is not coming in. Ideally we would like the two things to coincide.”