Amateur sides relishing their chance to train and play

This should be the time of year when our amateur football sides are winding down after a hectic season.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 6:25 pm
Amateur football clubs can play friendlies and resume contact training from next week

Instead most are just getting started.

The grassroots game never really got going at all in 2020 before a call was made to abandon all of Fife’s divisions on a null and void basis in March.

But at the same time as the league decision was made, there was good news with it announced that a new tournament would be introduced in spring, the Jon Harrison Memorial Cup.

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As restrictions have eased, clubs have been back preparing and, with contact training and friendlies able to resume from Monday, May 17, our amateurs are finally looking forward to a return to competitive football.

Fife Thistle have wasted no time in getting a series of friendlies arranged, and they’ll meet Methilhill Strollers next Monday.

Thistle’s Colin Murray praised the attitude shown by the Balmullo squad during still difficult circumstances.

“Training itself has been a bit of a challenge for the coaching team,” he said.

"They have to keep things fresh within the current rules which don’t allow contact training.

"But the the playing squad have played their part by doing all that is asked of them with minimal fuss and keeping attendance numbers high, despite not having matches to look forward to on a Saturday.”

Amateur clubs may have nowhere near the resources of those in the seniors, but Cupar Hearts have been keeping well on top of their safety obligations.

A spokesman said: “All the management team have done their Covid-19 officer training, so all the protocols are in place.

"Players have been separated into smaller groups to do non-contact training and it has gone well.

"The club has worked hard to endure player safety and respect the guidelines that have been set.”

Tayport Amateurs are preparing for their first season in the leagues and will hold player trials on May 15 at Tayport Common from 2pm.

“The lockdown and past year has been hard for everyone and getting back out again playing football with your friends is definitely a boost for players mental health,” said team manager Ryan Anderson.