Sidmouth Town boss: Will a new league campaign start on time?

Football on pitch

Football on pitch - Credit: Getty Images/Image Source

Sidmouth Town manager Danny Burwood continues to work towards his team’s first league game being played on Saturday, September 5, but he is becoming concerned that it may not happen.

Town are set to launch a new South West Peninsula League Premier East campaign on the first Saturday in September, entertaining Plymouth Marjon at Manstone Lane.

However, with current Coivd-19 guidelines leaving clubs unable to offer ‘normal’ changing facilities with showers, the Town boss wonders if competitive league football can indeed begin as scheduled.

Burwood says: “We cannot expect players to travel any sort of distance and not be able to shower and change for the journey home.

“As things stand, we must not use showers and how is that going to work for a set of lads to come off after a game on a muddy pitch to jump back into cars and drive home taking the mud with them!

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“No, for me that simply does not work. It might have done in the good old days of Sunday morning pub football – but not these days, not for me.”

He continued: “After the midweek pre-season meeting with Exmouth Town I sat with Kevin and Andy [Exmouth Town management duo Kevin Hill and Andy Rawlings] and Kevin had suggested that if our respective leagues cannot get underway then perhaps we can/could set something up on a much more local level so that we could, at the very least, enjoy some semblance of a football season and, if nothing else, keep things ticking over ready for a full season in 2021/22.”

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The Vikings boss also thinks time is running out with regard to a September 5 start.

He explained saying: “I do think it’s a case of the ‘clock ticking’ in terms of us starting in three weeks.

“Clubs are going to need time to make any changes to any new protocols that might be decided upon.

“The worry is that some clubs might not be able to get things done in time. Just putting together Covid-19 documentation that embraces all aspect of a football club’s being has been quite a task for our committee.

“It’s something they have handled brilliantly and, as we saw after the Exmouth Town game in our clubhouse, we have everything in place to make things as safe and secure as possible.”

He concluded: “But what we really need now is to be given some definitive news that we can genuinely plan to start a new competitive season on a set date.”

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