North West Skye will play their home matches in Uig in the forthcoming 2019 football season after a proposal by the club was unanimously backed at the Skye and Lochalsh Amateur Football Association AGM on Monday evening.
The 2018 Clan Donald Cup winners were based in Portree last season and played their matches at the high school pitch. However, after a consultation was held within the club an agreement was reached that the team would prefer the option of playing on the grass pitch in Uig.
Speaking to the Free Press after the decision, North West Skye manager Graham Campbell felt it was a positive move for the club following a long period of uncertainty concerning the venue for their home matches.
“Frustrated with progress on establishing a long-term home in Dunvegan as originally planned when North West Skye was formed, our committee consulted with the team on moving to Uig this season and there was strong support.
“It is an excellent grass pitch at Uig with good facilities and a great place to watch games – if only it could be picked up and transported to the west side of the island!
“The other teams at the AGM seemed happy with our news and are looking forward to playing us there. Reducing the number of teams playing at Portree High School will also ease fixture congestion. Other than the additional travel, there are no downsides.”
North West Skye defeated Gairloch/ Aultbea United to lift the Clan Donald Cup but struggled for consistency in the league, finishing in sixth place. Having shared a home pitch with both Portree and Portree Juniors last season, Graham Campbell will hope the move to Uig can give his side a new lease of life and enable the team to build upon their cup triumph at the end of the 2018 campaign.
It was also decided in the meeting that: no midweek games will be held before Highland Amateur Cup ties. Teams will not play midweek fixtures in successive weeks, and league matches will not be rescheduled on dates earmarked for cup fixtures.
Association secretary Heckie Cormack also said that the association has decided to decline an invitation received to participate in a mid-summer tournament.
During the meeting, the current committee comprising chairman Steve McNeil, treasurer John MacInnes, secretary Heckie Cormack, DL MacKinnon (vice-chair and league south representative) and Graham Campbell (league representative north) was re-elected.
The draws for the GF MacRae Cup and the Ross Cup were made at the AGM. The holders of both cups, Kyleakin and Sleat and Strath, respectively, will begin the defence of their trophies at home, with David Butcher’s men hosting GA United in the GF MacRae Cup, while DL MacKinnon side will welcome the winners of the Kyle v Mallaig tie in the Ross Cup.
Cup fixtures are as follows (dates yet to be confirmed):
GF MacRae Cup, Round 1: Mallaig v Kyle. Quarter-finals: Kyleakin v Gairloch/Aultbea United; Mallaig/Kyle v Glenelg; Sleat and Strath v Juniors; Portree v NW Skye. (Holders: Kyleakin)
Ross Cup, Round 1: Kyle v Mallaig. Quarter-finals: Sleat and Strath v Kyle/Mallaig; Juniors v GA United; Portree v Kyleakin; NW Skye v Glenelg. (Holders Sleat and Strath)
Article by Adam Gordon