This is a year that we are all unlikely to forget—The Year of Coronavirus Pandemic. We will also remember the football season and particularly how it appears to have been brought to a conclusion.
NIFL have now decided to end the season, with final placing based on a mathematical model. The one aspect that I’m sure everyone involved in football will agree with is that the management of football matters during the past three weeks has been less than impressive from the NI footballing authorities. We could write a full article on the various issues involved, but that’s probably best left for now.
Now that the final placings have been decided, which of course is not the way that any of us would have wanted to end the season, the Mallards have finished a credible 2nd place, which if in proper circumstances would have resulted with the Fermanagh team competing in a play-off with the 11th placed team in the Premiership.
Of course if the football had continued on the pitch there was a definite focus from Harry and the team to win the Championship and the automatic promotion place, being six points behind the leaders with a game in hand and having to play the frontrunner at Ferney.
We thank Harry and his squad for the great effort during the season, if they had completed their further eight matches we could have now been preparing for next season in the Premiership.
This season was always going to be a challenge following the high of reaching last season’s Irish Cup Final, but winning the North West Senior Cup and finishing a credible second in the Championship has resulted with a very positive season. The Manager and squad have been a credit to Ballinamallard United FC, of which we are truly proud.
Congratulations to the Reserve team for their top of the table finish in the Championship Development League, well done to Darren and the squad. Also, it has been a great year for the growing Youth Academy and Football Development Centre, thanks to all our players, coaches and parents involved in these sectors of the Club.
Thanks also to our loyal supporters who follow the Mallards through the good times and bad, the support you have given, not just on match day but in many other ways has been a great boost to the Club.
Although I’m sure that it’s not the way the Clubs would have preferred to win titles either, but congratulations to Linfield, Portadown and Annagh United for winning their respective Leagues.
We feel very disappointed for the teams now facing relegation, Institute and PSNIFC, both these Clubs with seven and eight games left respectively could have taken themselves out of those positions, our view would be the same irrespective of what teams were in these positions at this time. This decision certainly does not bode well for fairness and sporting integrity in the local game.
Finally, enjoy the summer, keep safe and we all look forward to being back supporting the Mallards next season.