Shetland men’s football lives to play another day with the election of a full set of office bearers to Shetland Football Association (SFA) including president Magnus Flaws who previously held the position for six years.
Mr Flaws was elected unopposed along with vice-president Eric Graham – another former president – treasurer Brian Johnston and secretary Brydon Robertson. A number of independent members were also elected or re-elected.
Last night’s extraordinary general meeting was advertised threatening dissolution of the association if the office bearer slots were not filled.
But the old hands stepped up to the plate to ensure the continuation of the organisation, and effectively isles football this year, which will have a re-formatted league structure owing to the shortage of referees and the withdrawal of Petrofac from the senior league.
After his election, Mr Flaws said the principal objectives of the association should be stability and stability of the committee.
He added: “The members we have now have all been past presidents, past secretaries, past treasurers or whatever. They have all been there and done that and are all quite capable. So we do have strength in the office bearers and there is a good strong team of independents now who hopefully will see what’s going on and in time will move up to take up those posts”.
The association also faces a huge challenge organising a fixtures list, with up to 100 matches in question across all leagues owing to the shortage of referees. It is calling for players and ex-players to take part in training courses next month in order to strengthen the refereeing roster.
Mr Flaws said: “We just have to look forward to getting the fixtures all sorted. That is not easy as you have to take into account regattas, weddings, gala days all sorts of things that teams might want to be excused from playing that weekend.
“There is a shortage of referees: we need players and ex-players to come forward and start training to be referees because if we do not have referees we just do not have football. The less referees there are the less games we have to be played.
“That’s a pity, especially for the junior teams coming through we need them to refereed and we want them to be coming though because they are the future of Shetland football.”
• Full story in Friday’s Shetland Times.