Captain explains toughness of adapting to a whole new ball game
- Credit: Archant
The captain of Whittlesey Athletic FC said it has been “extremely difficult” to cope with some of the challenges affecting his side’s season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Harry Jenkins never expected to play again before Christmas after a second lockdown was enforced last month, which halted non-league and grassroots football for four weeks.
“I must admit, until the news came out, I thought there was no chance of playing before Christmas,” he said.
“As a player with my football brain on, it’s brilliant that we get to play and back doing the things we love doing. Did I expect it? Not at all.”
Whittlesey lie 12th in United Counties League Division One, picking up 14 points from 11 games which includes five draws, having gone on a five-game unbeaten run.
You may also want to watch:
It’s a solid return at a level they returned to for the 2019-20 campaign, but Jenkins believes this start could have been improved.
“There have been some challenges, particularly with the communication side,” he admitted.
- 1 Ditch crash victim seriously injured
- 2 Minor injury unit closes to allow staff to respond to crisis in the community
- 3 Transgender rapist - with anatomy of a man- jailed for 15 years
- 4 Council offers reserved parking for elderly heading for Covid jab
- 5 'Big red key' used by cops in dawn raid on suspected drug dealers
- 6 Man, 39, convicted of assault on two HMRC officers by beating
- 7 60 care home residents and staff vaccinated
- 8 Body of missing Wisbech man found in Norfolk
- 9 MP visits hospital about to become centre of Covid-19 vaccine rollout
- 10 New owners of town centre store under fire for flats plan
“If you wanted to display your tactics and formations, it’s hard to do it without a whiteboard and being six inside together at a time.
“We’re lucky the team has been together for quite a while with a couple of additions this year, that we know what Rick (Hailstone) expects and our game plan most games, so we’ve got a slight advantage.”
Without a half-time team talk as a full squad, Jenkins believes this may have proved a part in how the players have reacted in the second-half, especially after taking a lead.
It’s unclear whether the full season will be completed due to the four-week hiatus, as Whittlesey aim to resume at home to Irchester United on Saturday, December 12, 3pm.
Despite a return to the sport he loves, it has never been the same for Jenkins, but on the other hand, it is better than nothing.
“When you play the 90 minutes, you think ‘great, we’re back’ but at the end, you look around and think it’s not the same,” he said.
“You can’t go to the pub and have a beer together, can’t do this or that. It is great you’re playing football and with the boys, but it’s not the same.
“Our results are not based just from team talks. Some of them have been from poor performances and some wins have been from good performances, but it certainly feels that it’s had an effect on our results this season.”