Guidance for Ottery in the Devon Football League

Ottery can expect an awkward surface at Watcombe

Ottery can expect an awkward surface at Watcombe - Credit: Archant

New rules for the restart

Leaders Ottery St Mary restart the Devon Football League with a game at lowly Watcombe Wanderers on Saturday.

Awaiting the Otters for the trip to Torbay will be a new set of guidance issued to every home club in the league to ensure the safety of players, officials and supporters.

The safety codes states:

The home club, when confirming the fixture, shall provide their opponents and the match official with a copy of their club’s Covid Risk Assessment and highlight any particular requirements specific to their club.

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The home club shall ensure that a club official, ideally the Club Covid Officer, is present to provide guidance on the Covid RA and oversee compliance by participants and spectators.

In the event of the home club omitting to provide the information above, the away club and/or match official shall actively seek out the information from their hosts.

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The away club shall ensure that their players, team management and, as far as possible, any supporters, are made aware of their opponent’s Covid measures and that they comply with them.

All participants shall comply with the requirements of the host club’s Covid Risk Assessment and any other governmental issued directives or guidelines. This is particularly important regarding the changing rooms and dug-out occupancy.

Spectators refusing to comply with the social distancing and maximum group size rules should be asked to leave the ground.

Once every box has been ticked, Ottery St Mary can expect a tougher challenge at Watcombe than league positions might suggest.

The Wanderers endured a horrible start to the campaign, losing their opening six fixtures, including a 6-1 drubbing at Washbrook Meadows.

However, Watcombe entered the recent lockdown with their first win of the season, a 5-1 win at home to Lakeside Athletic, and the home pitch just outside Newton Abbot can be a difficult surface to play the flowing football that has brought Billy Rouse’s Otters such success.

Despite those challenge, Ottery will be determined to rack up three valuable points to maintain their lead at the top.

A dangerous Newton Abbot Reserves visit Ottery next weekend.

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