Football is the life and soul of many communities up and down the country, but the Covid-19 pandemic has taken that away with many football fans unable to attend matches. But with so much focus on the top leagues, grassroots football has been an afterthought.
With all youth football put on halt to stop the spread of covid-19, grassroots clubs have been unable to play since October. In April lockdown restrictions were eased, this allowed the return of outdoor sports, but it hasn’t been plain sailing for every club.
I went down to my local grassroots club Hythe Town Youth to explore the problems they have had since returning. I spoke to the Head of Coaches Mike Chamberlin about everything that has gone into the return of youth football in Hythe.
“It’s been about 4 to 5 weeks of preparation just to get back!” he exclaimed, “there has been a lot of organisation to get everything back, we obviously have to get players back and prepare the pitches and get covid equipment sorted just so we can train.”
Finances are a big part of grassroots football and without any money clubs can’t run, the FA stepped in before the return of youth football and made grants available to those clubs in need. “The money the FA have provided us with grants which is great, it’s one less thing to think about,” said Chamberlin.
Covid cases are dropping, deaths are into the single digits per day in England, with the Covid-19 situation in a better place compared to last year the boys are just hoping they can carry on playing.
Check out Hythe Town coach Louis Harrington’s podcast Life Outside of Sport