PROPOSALS that could see Aberdour Shinty Club return to action in 2021 have been unveiled by the sport's governing body.

The Camanachd Association's board of directors gave their backing recently to plans put forward by its competition committee that would pave the way for shinty to resume when coronavirus guidelines allow.

All clubs – including Aberdour – who were registered to play in 2019 have done so again for the 2021 season, which allowed a number of options to be considered for when the sport is allowed to return.

A four- to six-week pre-season, allowing for fitness and stick work to return to "the required standard", would be followed by a league and cup campaign that would see localised, smaller leagues.

It has been decided that they would consist of six teams – with the splits determined on locality – and 10 fixtures for each of those competing, while regional competitions could be moved to a later stage in the season.

In a bid to reduce long-distance travelling, national competitions such as the Camanachd Cup and Balliemore Cup will also be regionalised in the early rounds.

Speaking to Press Sport ahead of the announcement, Aberdour's lead coach, Lisa MacColl, expressed her hope that her senior side could return soon, having played only once since winning promotion to the National Division in 2019.

"There was only a wee window where we were able to have the senior guys (training)," she said.

"They've not really played much shinty since they won the league in October 2019. We've had one league game, which was against Beauly at the start of last season, because the season started, we played one game and that was it. That's all they've had.

"By March, that will be a year and a half since they played proper, competitive shinty, but everyone's in the same boat. I'm sure that when it's safe and ready to do so, we'll be back, but it's just one of those things."

Burton Morrison, competitions director with the Camanachd Association, commented: "Under the current restrictions, we are unable to confirm a start date at the present time for the revised season.

"However, we are optimistic that we are able to plan for a number of options for a competitive structure which will give teams the opportunity to get back playing. The form of season adopted will depend on the length of time available."

Steven MacKenzie, president of the Camanachd Association, added: "I, and indeed all of my fellow directors, were pleased to endorse the plan put forward to us by the competitions committee.

"We are all eager to return to play shinty in line with government guidance and, with this plan in place, we are one step closer to doing so."