ARDROSSAN Winton Rovers boss Stevie Wilson says he is pleased that a provisional start date for the new West of Scotland Football League (WoSFL) has been pencilled in for October but admits if games are played behind closed doors it will “kill clubs”.

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.

Wilson said: “We needed a start date because the players are desperate to get back, so to get the news that they are looking at October was excellent and the boys are delighted they now have something to focus on.

“There was talk of us not even getting a game this side of Christmas which I was dreading so if we can get back playing in October then that is good.”

Despite the announcement of a planned October start it is unclear at this stage whether fans will be allowed to attend matches at the start of the season.

The Winton gaffer said: “Not letting supporters into grounds would kill clubs. Football is nothing without the fans.

“Supporters are the life and soul of the club and in this difficult time our fans have been backing us so to then punish them by not allowing them into the park would not be a nice situation.

“A section of our fans are of an older generation and I have spoken to a lot of them including my dad who loves going to watch football and they are struggling not being able to attend matches and it is affecting their mental health so for the good of the game and the good of the supporters we need them in.”

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

He said: “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.”