THE North West Counties Football League season will kick-off on July 31.

The early season start was agreed in a league management committee meeting held this week with officials desperate to avoid a repeat of the past two seasons which were both cancelled due to the ongoing public health crisis.

It means St Martins, Ellesmere Rangers and Whitchurch Alport can look ahead to a return to action sooner than expected.

A statement reads: "Following the disappointments of the two previous seasons being cut short by the pandemic conditions, the management committee looked at the potential for logistical issues that could surround the re-start.

"However, we are confident enough to set the date, subject to conditions being right to play open and competitive football in what is viewed as normal operating conditions.

"It is hoped that by the time July comes around there will be few if any restrictions regarding spectator access to stadia, hospitality provision and of course operational requirements such as team and officials changing facilities and so on.

"If we still find ourselves in a restricted operational environment it is likely that this will need to be reviewed.

"However, given the positive outlook at present with regards to the pace of roadmaps, vaccinations and lockdown easements we are hopeful that we will be good to go in what will be a highly anticipated season in the campaign that will take us up to the 40th anniversary year of the foundation of the North West Counties League."