A RETURN to action for Clee Hill United will feel like the start of a new season, admits frustrated manager Wayne Whitbread.

United have played just once this year – on January 18 – because of the wet weather.

“I think we have all had enough of the rain,” said Whitbread, whose side play in the Mercian League Division One.

“I walked on our pitch on Sunday morning and it was covered in surface water.

“I can't see us playing at home anytime soon if it keeps raining.”

He added: “We've played once this year, on January 18, and it will be like starting the season all over again when we finally do get to play again.

“It’s important we keep turning up for training and keep our fitness levels up – and that is what most of the team have been doing.”

Church Stretton Town have not played at home since December 7 – but joint-manager Joe Leask says his players remain motivated.

“We are fairly fortunate because we played two away matches in January but our last home game was when we beat Telford Juniors on December 7.

“With our County Cup game away at Broseley now taking priority until it's played, I don't know when our next home match will be.

“It looks like this weekend’s match will be postponed so, in theory, we may be playing them on February 22 and that would means our scheduled home games against Weston Rhyn and Whitchurch will need to be rearranged.”

Leask added: “Motivation isn't an issue at all for us - we have a minimum of 16 players every Wednesday at training and it's always a good, quality session.

“The concern is having a lot of midweek games at the end of the season as we have 2 or 3 lads who travel a fair distance to play on a Saturday and they're unlikely to make midweek games.”

Newcastle's home Mid Wales League South match against Penybont and their Alf Sparey Cup semi-final were both called off last weekend because of the bad weather.

John Goodridge’s men are without a fixture this Saturday but return to action the following weekend at home to Radnor Valley.