Jult 19th 2020
The FA have recently unveiled new guidance with regards grassroots football and the recommencement of activities. This guidance can be read below with further details via the following links. We urge all to read and be fully abreast of the current situation.
The FA issues guidelines for the return of outdoor competitive grassroots football
Practical guidance for players, coaches, officials, volunteers, clubs, leagues, parents/carers and facility providers undertaking outdoor competitive grassroots football activity in England.
The FA can confirm that the UK Government approved its plan for the return of outdoor grassroots football late last night, Friday 17 July 2020.
As a result, the grassroots football community now has the opportunity to return to football and prepare for the start of the new season.
The FA has been working hard over recent weeks to prepare guidelines for the safe return of grassroots football and, following Government approval, these can now be published.
Football activity can take place with necessary modifications in place to mitigate the transmission risk of COVID-19.
The FA would strongly recommend a phased return to competitive football activity as follows:
Until 31 July
When ready, you can begin competitive training, with the overall group size (inclusive of coaches) being limited to 30 people.
Outdoor competitive football matches to begin, for example pre-season fixtures, festivals and small sided football competitions.
Clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents/carers, spectators and football facility providers should read The FA’s full guidelines, which are accessible below, in addition to the latest Government guidance on COVID-19.
A return to competitive football should only happen once clubs and facility providers have completed the necessary risk assessments and comprehensive plans are in place.
A summary of key points to consider from The FA’s guidelines are listed for ease below:
· Everyone should self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms before every training session or match. If you are symptomatic or living in a household with possible or actual COVID-19 infection you must not participate or attend.
· Clubs and facility providers should ensure that their facility is compliant with current Government legislation and guidance related to COVID-19.
· Competitive training is now permitted, with groups limited to a maximum of 30 people, including coaches.
· Competitive match play is permitted, with social distancing in place before and after the match, and in any breaks in play.
· Players and officials should sanitise hands before and after a game as well as scheduled breaks throughout a game or training session.
· Ball handling should be kept to a minimum with most contact via a boot and the ball disinfected in breaks of play.
· Youth football coaches are encouraged to limit persistent close proximity of participants during match play and training.
· Goal celebrations should be avoided.
· Equipment should not be shared, and goalkeepers should ensure they disinfect their gloves regularly in breaks in training or matches and thoroughly afterwards. Where possible, coaches should only handle equipment in training.
· Where possible, players, coaches and officials should arrive changed and shower at home. Use of changing and shower facilities must follow government advice on the use of indoor facilities.
· Participants should follow best practice for travel including minimising use of public transport and walking or cycling if possible. People from a household or support bubble can travel together in a vehicle.
· Clubs should keep a record of attendees at a match or training session, including contact details, to support NHS Test and Trace.
· Clubs should ensure they are affiliated with their County Football Association.
As per the FA guidance we have risk assessed our training facilities in conjunction with Wreake Valley Academy;
LOCATION, TIMES, PROXIMITY – Wreake Valley offer a huge variety of pitches, surfaces, spaces to train on however, currently the vast majority of our teams train on a Saturday morning at the same time. This is clearly a 'pinch point' and as such we will not be returning to this format. In order to control our activities, we will be asking our teams to only train once per week on a Saturday initially.
All Teams (Plus Academy) -
As 'normal' 4 teams to use the 4G facilities at once, the remainder will be dispersed across the grass pitches.
As a precaution and to minimise crowds, training times have been altered team by team (in most cases). Please arrive promptly and proceed directly to the playing area. A rota will be provided to all coaches weekly and you will be notified of times and locations of the session prior to your arrival.
Sessions should be one hour (unless agreed with Paul Cassidy with good notice) and finish promptly to ensure the area is vacated in a similar manner in which we arrived.
The club will provide disinfectant for equipment (to be held in the lock-up) and sanitizer for members. Disinfectant should be used at the end of each session and all equipment stored in our lockup, sanitizer should be used as required.
We require a parent/guardian to be present for the duration of the session, watching from a safe distance. In the event of injury, they should assist unless our level one coaches are happy to provide assistance. Coaches will notify you of their decision prior to the return regarding this. (see guidance for details)
Water bottles, training tops and other personal equipment should be kept separate to others belongings and named
We appreciate that this represents a great opportunity to 'catch-up' with other members/friends however, for everyone's safety we ask that you arrive and leave in a prompt manner.
To commence Saturday August 1st.
DODO’S VETERANS - This session is basically a friendly match once per week, as such, we will not be sanctioning the restart of this session at this time.
Each team will be given the opportunity to return but we must stress; we are only able to function as a club because of the continued dedication of our volunteers. Our volunteer managers and coaches will only offer this option in the event they themselves feel comfortable to do so and can adhere to the guidelines provided by the FA safely. Whatever they decide, we will of course fully support their decision, as should you.
With this in mind, your coaches will begin to make contact with you over the coming week regarding their decisions and subsequently the specifics of their potential return.
We must add that should you be in anyway uneasy regarding your child’s return to the club, please do not re-engage with the club until you feel more comfortable to do so. Your child's attendance will be deemed as consent to partake by the club. Those that live in lockdown areas should not attend. Those that should still be isolating for health reasons, should continue to do so.
All subs collections will recommence as of August 1st providing your teams manager/coach is happy to return. We are required to operate this universal approach to collections due to the fixed overheads we incur and additional financial pressures we would experience without it. I am sure you will all appreciate that we are a community club ran solely by volunteers, through the funds we raise and without profit. Many other grassroots clubs have been forced to fold as a result of poor management of this pandemic's effects.
On this note we would like to say a huge thank you to all for the dedication and support (and financial support) you have shown our club during this period, we could not have continued without it.
Lastly, in the event these guidelines are not adhered to, we will take the decision to cease all activities until we can return in the 'normal' capacity.
We are happy to take questions regarding this statement via the website ‘get involved’.