The Ulster Senior League will release their revised fixtures for the new season in the coming days.
The league was hit with a blow last Thursday when Drumkeen United withdrew leaving six teams to compete.
In a statement released by the league on a Sunday, the committee expressed their disappointment that Drumkeen withdrew but also highlighted their goal to attract new clubs.
They also played down speculation about the future of the league.
USL Statement on Drumkeen Utd.
We were saddened to learn on Thursday morning of Drumkeen Utd.’s decision not to participate in the 2015/16 Ulster Senior League season that marks our return to a Winter football calendar. We fully understand the position that they find themselves in and we hope that it is a temporary situation for a long standing member of the Ulster Senior League. It is the hope of the league that they can use the upcoming season to consolidate their club’s position through their participation in the Donegal Saturday League with a view to re-joining the Intermediate ranks in the future. The club has a solid foundation with the great facilities they have developed and the good underage structure that they have in place.
While it is too early to speculate on the implications for the future of the Ulster Senior League and Intermediate football here in County Donegal, it is the intention of the Executive to continue with the 6 teams that have committed to playing in the 2015/16 season to ensure that they and we can offer football at the highest local level possible for the upcoming season. A new set of fixtures will be issued in the coming days to the remaining clubs. We will have dialogue with our member clubs throughout the winter to establish the best way forward to retain Intermediate football here in the North West corner of Ireland.
It is our goal to attract more clubs into our league, there is no hiding the fact that we have lost several members over the last 5 years and we would appeal to the clubs that win their respective Junior Leagues to give serious consideration to joining the ranks of Intermediate football and testing themselves and their players at a higher level. We’d love to see more clubs from South Donegal and Inishowen compete in our league as these are two areas that have had little or no representation in the USL in recent seasons. The success of the Inishowen League in the Oscar Traynor Cup in recent seasons would suggest that there are a lot of players there capable of making the step up to Intermediate football, yet there is only one club – double, double winners Cockhill Celtic – from Inishowen competing in the USL at present. The USL has been very successful at Inter Provincial level in recent seasons having won the Michael Ward Trophy over the past two seasons under the guidance of Donal O’Brien and Trevor Scanlon, so it would be nice to build on that success by expanding the number of teams and players competing in the Ulster Senior League. The recent Inter Pro successes are proof that we have quality players in our league – in recent seasons several players have also made the jump cross channel from Derry City Res. having plied their trade in the USL.