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SOME children look set to miss out on their first football cup final due to administration reasons.

Parents say some players will not be able to take part because the showdowns of the new events at under nines to under 11s levels in the Warrington Junior Football League fall during half-term school holidays.

After the error was spotted, some cup finals dates were changed but some families say this has caused additional disruption after they had rearranged holidays around the initial date.

And with some finals now scheduled for a Sunday, after games all season had been played on Saturdays, The Guardian is told the change has brought a clash of interests for some other kids.

“We are talking about young children reaching a cup final, playing the sport they love and enjoy at grassroots level and having it whipped from under them through no fault of their own,” said one team official.

League chairman Alan Syddall has admitted to a mistake within a whole complexity of issues that he labelled ‘a nightmare’ and that have to be overcome in order for the finals at all age groups to take place in a season already extended by FA approval.

The league, understood to be the second biggest in the country and administered by a committee of eight volunteers, has more than 10,000 registered players and around 450 games take place at weekends during the season.

Nineteen finals in age groups that range from under nines through to under 18s will be played out over five weekends in June, eight at The Hive in Earlestown and 11 at Victoria Park Stadium where availability has been later than usual due to the staging of the Neighbourhood Weekender music festival.

In a pilot fitting in with FA regulations of younger children playing in blocks of four or six successive weekends on three occasions during a campaign, Champions League and Europa League events have been introduced for the first time at under nines to under 11s levels this season.

Fitting that around school holidays across five local authorities – as the membership also features teams from Wigan, St Helens, Halton and Salford – has brought about the issues for some Warrington cup finalists.

Syddall explained: “The under nines to under 11s play on Saturdays so we thought we’d split the finals over two weekends – Saturday, June 1 and Saturday, June 8.

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“I didn’t thoroughly check the effect of June 1 on the school holidays. I’m responsible for this and I’ve admitted it in front of all our clubs.

“St Helens, Wigan, Halton and Salford – which make up two thirds of our clubs – have a one-week school holiday but roughly 50 percent of the schools in Warrington have a two-week break, the others only a one-week break.

“It’s a nightmare. When I spotted the impact, I thought 'Oh no!'

“We only had our semi-finals two weeks ago, and there were four clubs out of 16 finalists that were due to play on June 1 and affected by the two-week school break.

“We were scheduled for four finals on June 1. Of the eight teams, only three could field a team – not the best team, but had the minimum numbers.

“That only made one of the four games possible to proceed.

“With the others, we’ve no other dates other than moving to Sunday the 9th.

“What the parents have arranged I don’t know, because the school holidays are effectively finished.

“Even the ones with two-weeks holiday go back to school on the 10th.

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“I suspect in some of these cases we’ve clashed with rugby games on a Sunday but we had no choice.

“It’s upset a small handful of people and I’ve apologised.

“I get it that they’re upset. They’re not used to playing competitive football, so it’s the first opportunity they’ve had to be in a final.

“We just couldn’t suit everybody.

“We’ve done everything we can, but like I say I’ve held my hands up and said should I have looked a little bit closer. We plan a season in advance, sometimes the holidays get changed as well.

“I’ve planned next year’s, and we’re scrapping June altogether, we’re going back into April and May for our semi finals and finals.”