Pre-Christmas return to action is blessing in disguise, says ladies’ manager
- Credit: Archant
He said it would be a blessing if they could return before Christmas, and for one ladies’ boss, his wish is about to come true.
Gary Davis, manager of March Town Ladies, was initially not keen to support a campaign for the return of grassroots football after the first lockdown due to the risk of meeting in large groups.
“Even if we said not to turn up and watch, you get people turning up whereas in the professional game, they’re playing in stadiums and you couldn’t get in,” he said.
“Clubs carry out tests all the time and it’s not a problem, whereas it’s more difficult for grassroots football.”
March, who are in Tier 2 of Covid-19 restrictions, are allowed to resume with supporters, something Gary thought would not be possible “perhaps till the end of January”.
But with restrictions on outdoor grassroots sport being eased, that’s not to say the squad will break the rules.
“I think the majority of clubs will continue to follow the rules. The levels of hygiene have improved across the league and the awareness of the players,” Gary said.
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“If there are teams that flout the rules, I know they have been reported by other teams to bring a stop to it.”
Before the second lockdown, players would turn up to games in their kit and social interaction would be limited.
There have been times where Gary and his players have been close to a positive Covid-19 case and questioned the level of hygiene at different clubs, but this is something he was prepared for.
“If there is a lack of hygiene, we bring our sanitiser,” he said.
“We’ll continue the way we are once we’re back playing. In the long-term, I think people have a lot more awareness of hygiene and how germs are spread.”
March are due to restart their Cambridgeshire Women’s County League Premier Division season at home to St Ives Town Ladies Development on Sunday, December 13.
It’s a moment the Hares cannot wait for, and having kept in touch through fitness competitions during weeks of inactivity, it is clear the enthusiasm to play again has never died.
“I try to keep the content flowing by pointing things on Twitter, like posting some information on the players, so it keeps them focused,” Gary said.
“Once we get given the all-clear, I think there will be a boost of enthusiasm because you appreciate more what you’ve missed.”