SYMPATHY is no longer in short supply for those advocates of plans to reform the Juniors with a switch to summer football.

A ground swell of opinion favouring this radical change to the game was already gaining considerable momentum before the “Beast from the East” brought about Saturday’s cancellation of every Junior fixture in Scotland.

So it must be even more encouraging for those in favour of change to hear that SJFA chiefs have grasped the nettle by compiling an initial paper on the winter v summer arguments which is set to be discussed at their management meeting later this month.

The news was warmly welcomed by Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell following an indoors training session on Saturday afternoon.

Maxi said: "Serious thought has to be given to the notion of summer football because Scottish winters appear to be getting progressively worse and clubs are suffering real hardship as a result.

“I’m fortunate as Rob Roy manager to be indoors because facilities are severely limited in this country and don’t come cheap as a consequence. You are severely restricted in the work you can do with players yet what other choice do you have when there’s not a sight of green on our training ground and neither is there likely to be over the coming days?

“Our scheduled meeting with Clydebank next weekend dictates that we try to get players ready and focused on the game in hand but it’s close to impossible in these winter conditions.

“We are deliberately diluting the product when players are not fully fit and that’s one of the reasons I would like to see the powers-that-be take heed of the many issues that crop up at dressing room level when the pros and cons for summer football come up for discussion."

Rob Roy’s shutdown of sorts (five games played in 15 weeks) has abetted a clearing-up of their injury list with goalkeeper Michael McKinven’s return to training ground action this week after a five month long absence signifying Maxi having a fully fit playing squad at his beck and call for the first time this season.

He added: “We’ve laid it on the line for the guys that every one of them will have a part to play if we are to stand any chance of getting through the schedule of games looming up ahead of us.

“It’s shaping up as survival of the fittest with the need to avoid injuries and suspensions painfully obvious when you think our Super Premier league programme is still at the halfway stage and we still have the Central League Cup as well as an overdue New Coin Holdings West of Scotland Cup first round tie to play against Irvine Vics which has Maryhill awaiting the winners.

“And next up after facing Clydebank is the not inconsiderable matter of our Scottish Junior Cup quarter final against Yoker Athletic or Wishaw, assuming of course that their fifth-round game gets the go-ahead next weekend.

“If it’s postponed again or ends in a draw then we will be idle yet again and that only adds to our congestion.”

Maxi makes no secret of his intention to be in attendance at Holm Park run the rule over his side’s prospective Cup opponents.

He said: “I took in Wishaw’s 1-0 defeat of Forth Wanderers in the last round and they certainly had a bit about them as well as a number of decent players so it follows that I get another look at them and also see what Yoker have to offer.

“To do anything less might be construed as complacency on our part and we are anything but."