St Monans Swallows unanimous in return to play concerns

For St Monans Swallows, the mantra of ‘safety comes first’ when considering a return to sport is more than just a soundbite.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 9:24 am
St Monans Swallows player/manager Gordon McGilvary.

As of last Friday, non-professional clubs, including youth football, were allowed to take tentative steps back onto the park to varying degrees.

Only under-12s are allowed to engage in contact training, as per government and sportscotland guidance.

Further up the age groups, our adult teams can now train again, non-contact, in groups of up to 15 within their own local authority area.

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In Fife training sessions can resume for amateur clubs who are now preparing for a new League Cup, formed following the decision to null and void the league season.

Safety guidance continues to be enforced but, for the Swallows, question marks remain over whether or not a return to the field is wholly necessary.

Before the leagues were suspended, the Swallows squad found themselves deeply affected following a confirmed Covid-19 case at a rival team.

Club chair Jim Fyall told the Mail: “Unfortunately, before the last lockdown, our players were forced to isolate for ten days because an opponent had tested positive for Covid-19.

"This did not go down well with the employers of some of our players.

"So, when our association asked if teams were prepared to restart playing, we took a poll of our players and committee.

"The result of that poll was unanimous in that they did not wish to play under the circumstances prevailing.

"We will of course keep the situation under review with regards to the commencement of the new season.”

The Scottish Football Association has offered guidance to clubs on what safety measures should be taken for those returning to training on its website.

The executive committee of the Scottish Amateur Football Association is pleased with the recent update and hopes players will be able to take to the field competitively again soon.

"This, of course, is hopefully the first step on the return of amateur matches in due course, but we are delighted that this first step has occurred much sooner than we had anticipated as the current lockdown restrictions are lifted,” it said.