Players, coaches and supporters with a keen interest in Shetland football are being asked to attend an open meeting next week where the future of the game in the isles will be discussed.
The aim of the meeting is to look at ways of improving the standard and participation by discussing how people feel the game is run and which direction it should go in the future.
Among the ideas being looked at are Shetland’s county side joining a league on the Scottish mainland, overhauling the reserve league and investing in all-weather pitches.
A Shetland Football Association spokesman said these were issues everyone felt needed to be acted on now rather than later and that seeing the recent move from Orkney Football Association to join the North Caledonian League had sped up action.
He said: “The last county game and the recent changes in Orkney were a wake-up call but these are issues that have been on many members minds for some time. Exposing young sports people to high-calibre opposition on the mainland is something we want to do more up here.
“Among the topics to be discussed are Shetland’s senior county side playing more matches on the mainland, domestic league reconstruction, working more with Shetland Works League Association and looking into facilities and resources and how they can be used more effectively for everyone.”
The spokesman said no improvements would happen unless there was a strong and full committee in place, backed by all member clubs. Team managers were noting that overall participation and involvement in the game had dropped in the last few years. Some members were also noting an overall drop in the standard of the game at senior level.
He added: “The last few years have been difficult years for the association with many key figures resigning from posts after every season and many of the long-standing volunteers feeling they have no help running their own clubs.
“At our last meeting many members felt the situation was reaching breaking point and that more players and supporters need to realise how much goes into the game up here and how close it is to collapse.”
The meeting will take place at the Shetland Hotel on Sunday 26th August at 7pm. Anyone is welcome to attend.