Clydebank under-20s boss Scott Carson admits he feels for his players after the Lowlands Development League was cancelled.

The Bankies joined the setup for the first time at the beginning of the season as the competition was expanded to include teams who had joined the West of Scotland Football League.

A record number of 68 sides were set to take part, including 38 from the West.

However a ball hasn’t been kicked in a competitive environment due to ongoing restrictions surrounding group activity during the coronavirus pandemic.

And to no-one’s surprise – least of all that of the Clydebank boss – league officials decided earlier this month to pull the plug on the 2020-21 campaign altogether.

Carson accepts the decision to cancel the league, although he remained gutted for his players.

Speaking to the Post, he said: “We weren’t surprised. It was going to come, but we’re still disappointed.

“We were shaping up quite nicely for this season. This new development league has been massive for youth football.

“We had a really good side at [under] 19s, so moving from 19s to 20s means we had an extra year with some of the boys we might have lost.

“I feel for them because they’ve not kicked a ball since we had a few friendlies in September, when we were shaping up for the season to start.”

It is hoped that those players who missed out on playing this year and would have been leaving youth football at the end of this campaign will be allowed to take part in 2021-22 – and Carson believes such a move would help with the development of those players, ensuring they don’t miss out on a year of competitive football.

“The guys that are running the league have been fantastic at keeping us up to date with what’s happening and listening to us,” he continued.

“We proposed that some of the boys who are in their last year at 20s should be given an extension to play an extra season because it’s massive.

“It is what it is – a development league – and the players are the most important thing.

“We had ten players that would have been in their last season and a lot of them still have high hopes in the game.

“[An extension] gives the gaffer another season to have a look at them and hopefully keep them within the club.”