PORT Glasgow co-manager Paul Coyle believes moving to a pyramid system is the way forward for junior clubs in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.

A proposal has been brought forward in recent weeks that would see clubs from the SJFA West Region join the pyramid at tier six, level with the East of Scotland League, meaning they could fight for a place in the Lowland League and beyond.

Undertakers co-manager Coyle has called for SJFA chiefs to use this time to their advantage as leagues can potentially start from scratch under a new handle as of next season.

He told the Tele: “It’s difficult for us just now because there’s a lot of different things going about on social media, so we don’t really know how our season will pan out. But at the end of the day we just want to be back out on the park.

"What’s difficult from our point of view is that we can’t train because there’s talk of everywhere going into lockdown so if this goes on for the amount of time that has been predicted, then our boys are going to have to come back and go through another pre-season because they’ll be miles off it, which is no use to anyone.

“There isn’t really anything that we can do about it, we’re sitting fourth in the league but there’s a whole load of uncertainty around the pyramid system now too.

“Even if we were to miss out there could still be a whole restructuring that goes on through the summer.

“Apart from your top leagues, where you’ve got your Polloks and Talbots who have still got the Scottish Cup to play in, you would be as well scrapping our league just now and starting fresh under this new banner that could be in the West of Scotland League.

“Everybody will be put into different leagues anyway, so if I was in charge my main concern would be to get the potential last Junior Scottish Cup out the way and then start again.

“We’re going to need to make a choice soon as to whether we’re going to go for that or not because people have already said the significance of the Scottish Cup was taken away from us this year because big hitters like Bonnyrigg and Bo’ness were away to the East of Scotland league, so I think that the general consensus is that most teams are going to go, so why not take advantage of that?”

Ravenscraig rival Tommy Molloy revealed last week in the Tele that he fears the impact of the shutdown could have dire consequences for Greenock Juniors.

Coyle believes the Undertakers are in a healthy position to weather the storm but says he would hate to see other clubs go under. 

He said: “We’re in a really funny position where we’re not going to struggle as much as other teams.

“We don’t pay a penny to players whatsoever, so we’ve got no playing budget, and obviously Parklea is council-owned – so when we don’t use it for training or games we’ve not got bills to pay.

“We don’t need to pay for the upkeep of anything there and we only pay for it when we use it.

“For us as a club, I think we’ll be okay because we’re not shelling out money, which means we could be coming out better off than others, which is quite rare.

“It would be a shame to lose any club in the area. 

“Tommy Molloy is a good friend of mine at Greenock. 

“We grew up playing together and now we’re against each other on the sidelines. 

“It would be bad for the area if any of the teams were to go.”