Covid-19: Return to training Update

The FA has recently issued more detailed guidance for grassroots clubs on a return to training, taking account of the COVID-19 issues. The Full Guidance is available here.

In brief:

  • Training can take place in groups of no more than six (with each group including a coach), keeping two metres apart at all times. 
  • Physical contact with anyone outside your household is not permitted, unless they are within your designated "bubble".
  • Playing of any matches (small-sided or full) is not permitted at this time.
  • Children must maintain good hygiene, hand cleansing (each child to bring their own for use during the session) and social distancing. Continue to do your best to help your child recognise what two metres looks and feels like.
  • You or another adult from the family should travel with the child to the venue and must be present, at a safe distance, for the duration of the training session.
  • Your child must arrive changed and ready to exercise.

Based on this guidance we have now concluded our plan and arrangements for returning to training during July. The return will be staggered due to different constraints across our playing locations and availability of coaches within each Age Group. The current schedule (using the new 202/21 season Age Groups) is as follows:

Age GroupAGMLocationStart Date
U18 Colin Bell Miswell Lane / Icknield Way Mid August
U16 Stephen Bailey Cow Lane (lower pitch) Sundays from 5th July onwards
U15 Stu Darrington Cow Lane (upper pitch) Saturdays from 4th July onwards
U14 Stu Darrington Cow Lane (upper pitch) Saturdays from 4th July onwards
U13 Tom Laidlaw Mortimer Hill Early / Mid August
U12 Neil Jones Mortimer Hill Early / Mid August
U11 Carl Stokes Pound Meadow Saturdays from 4th July onwards
U10 Harry Smith Grove Road Primary School Early / Mid August
U09 Chris Gibbs Dundale School Early / Mid August.
U08 Scott Edgar Dundale School Early / Mid August
U07 Dan Tyack Dundale School Early / Mid August
Girls Section Stu Merlino Pound Meadow From w/c 6th July onwards, day to be confirmed


We also have some administrative requirements, consents and participation conditions that all have to be in place first, so there is still a fair bit to do to be ready. One of our conditions is that parents have read and then confirm that they will comply with the FA guidance for parents. To do that, please log in to the membership system and tick the box. Please also go through and make sure all your contact details are fully complete and up to date. And, please do check that the medical conditions section is accurate too.

For those Age Groups returning in July, Age Group Managers will have:

  1. “COVID compliant” session plans prepared in advance and readily available to parents to offer reassurance that our sessions have players welfare & safeguarding as the underpinning principle of everything we do.
  2. Site specific “COVID” Risk Assessments, especially taking into account the shared nature of all of our playing locations. Again these will be available for parents to view (and, if you have feedback or additional contributions, please do let us know).
  3. A robust (probably manual !!!) session attendance tracking system, so that in the event that we do have anyone testing positive for COVID, we can quickly and accurately provide tracing & isolation notifications.

Across the Age Groups, we have provisioned the flexibility for partial re-starts should there be only limited coach availability sooner than the above timelines. Each Age Group Manager will advise on that specifically as and when they provide their own readiness updates.

We also have the option to have players playing up a year and so, where that is viable and the relevant Age Group can accommodate, this option is available. We would though expect that anyone training up a year for the Summer, trains only in that age group, not across both.

To help us make training as enjoyable and risk-mitigated as possible, individual player guidance is as follows:

  1. From home / pre-arrival
    1. Wear a clean kit,
    2. Pack your own bag (with your name on), including: hand sanitiser; drink bottle and any medication (e.g. asthma puffers).
  2. On arrival / pre-training
    1. Remember the 2m spacing rule and do your best to maintain that spacing at all times,
    2. Get your parent / guardian to check your laces are tied securely,
    3. Speak to the session co-ordinator to ensure your attendance is recorded. They will allocate you to a Vortex (it’s the name we’re giving to groups, to differentiate them from bubbles, that whilst pretty, are unlikely to stay up for very long L). Each Vortex will have a dedicated coach lead.
    4. Put your bag and any other items you have in your assigned space station.
    5. Apply your hand sanitiser.
    6. Wait for your coach lead to give you initial instructions about the session
  3. During the training session
    1. Do not touch any equipment with your hands (especially the footballs), except is you are a designated goalkeeper with your own gloves.
    2. Remember the 2m spacing rule and do your best to maintain that spacing throughout the training session,
    3. Cover your nose and mouth if you need to sneeze or cough. Put any tissues or wipes you use in your bag separately from all the other items,
    4. In the event that you need first aid, your coach lead will send you to your parent(s). In the event of an emergency only, the coach lead will treat you directly.
  4. At the end of the training session
    1. Return to your assigned space station directly.
    2. Apply your hand sanitiser.
    3. Pack all your items in your bag.
    4. Wait for the session co-ordinator to record your departure and then go directly to your parent / guardian and leave straight away.
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