Conscious and cautious the way forward to tackle pandemic, believes ladies’ boss
- Credit: Archant
Leverington Ladies boss Euan Simpson has always been careful on whether or not it is the right time for grassroots football to return.
“I’ve got asthma and I was shielding for four-and-a-half months, so I was very conscious of people coming close to me,” he said.
Euan, who coaches the Cambridgeshire Women’s County League Premier Division team alongside wife Rachael, have adopted a cautious approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, trying to do things the right way.
Whether that is reminding players of the rules, or sanitising the goalposts before matches, there is no doubt that the club is taking the virus seriously.
“We had to sanitise and set up everything ourselves. If the girls touched anything, it had to be cleaned and it was more time-consuming as well,” Euan said.
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“It was definitely a hindrance. I thought was it worth it and whether we should start training until we get back to normal.”
Only groups of five or six could train together at any one time, and both players and officials at the clubs have been ordered to follow rules to the letter.
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Although the strict measures have led to no positive Covid-19 cases reported, it has been an equally frustrating time for Euan.
“I don’t believe we got a lot out of training in groups of six to be honest,” he admitted.
“The training was too hard. I like bigger groups so I could be more involved with them at the same time.
“They’re all friends and after the first lockdown finished, they were meeting socially, but I’m still saying to them you don’t know who others might be going away with outside of football.”
Euan said some clubs he has visited during the 2020-21 season have enforced slightly different rules compared to his team.
Many of Leverington’s players are based in Lincolnshire, which is in Tier 3 of new coronavirus restrictions, meaning they are unable to travel in and out of that area to play grassroots football.
The club now plan to resume their league campaign on Sunday, December 20 following a government review, but for Euan, safety comes first.
“I have been to grounds and been concerned that they haven’t taken Covid as seriously as we have,” he said.
“I said to the ladies we know the right way to do it, so it is conflicting that clubs at the same level are doing different approaches.
“As a club, I think we’ve got the message over well and I’m lucky I’ve got a partner like Rachael to help me get through it all.”