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Bowker calls for earlier start to the season after latest washout weekend

By Herald Express  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

By ANDY PHILLIPS

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LIVERTON United boss Tony Bowker has suggested changes to the Carlsberg SW Peninsula League fixtures schedule after another washout weekend.

Only one match was played in the Premier Division, while heavy rain also lead to cancellations across Division One East, with only two matches played.

A league update this week from company secretary Phil Hiscox included a long list of re-arranged games, with some existing matches moved to enable postponed ties to go ahead.

Bowker said the backlog of fixtures would leave many sides playing three or even four matches a week at the end of the season.

The Liverton boss suggested that playing matches on Tuesdays and Thursdays in addition to Saturdays would bring in only a fraction of the revenue which clubs can enjoy on a normal weekend game.

He said that extra games at the start of the season or even a scheduled winter break could help avoid the problem of re-arranging matches.

"I feel sorry for the fixtures secretary having to deal with it and trying to find alternative dates which suit both clubs," said Bowker.

"This is why we should try and get more games in at the start of the season.

"A winter break would suit me, but it's revenue for clubs – we [Liverton] were desperate to get a game on for the reserves at home, to bring in revenue for the club.

"With midweek games people don't hang around afterwards and do the draws or have a drink – they have to rush off as they've got work the next day.

"Some clubs are going to have to play three times a week at the end of this season – Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday.

"The other problem is that if players are paying subs then it's going to cost them £20 a week just to play football, which is tough in the current climate.

"It's got a knock-on effect." He added: "Most clubs have got overheads to pay, and if the business-end is not getting used then you're on a slippery slope.

"But you can't do anything about the weather and that's it."

Bowker's side are travelling to Plymouth Parkway this Saturday, having played the reverse fixture less than a fortnight ago.

Liverton lost that match 1-0 at Halford to a deflected goal, and Bowker said the pressure would be on their opponents this weekend.

He added: "They will obviously start as favourites, but we've got nothing to lose going there and the onus is on them to come at us this time so we will see what they are about."

Liverton will also be boosted by the return of full back James Tuffey and midfielder Cameron Kelly, while Bowker is also waiting on a decision from a centre-back who he has already put seven days in for.

Bowker said: "I'm looking forward to the game and fancy us to get a result."

BOVEY Tracey were also out of action last weekend, but because they had no scheduled fixture. They are at home to fifth-placed Elburton Villa this Saturday (3pm).

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