Scotland’s future move to Phase Three of lockdown presents “hope” for grassroots football, according to the Scottish FA’s Head of Football Development, Andy Gould.
Gould told Sky Sports Scotland that: “When we look at the phases, Phase Three does present an opportunity for us. We have had dialogue in the previous week, with Professor Jason Leitch, which was really good as it gave us an insight into where we are in following the Governments’ route-map out of lockdown.”
Professor Leitch CBE is the Clinical Director of the Scottish Government and a highly-respected Professor at the University of Dundee.
Leitch said in an interview for the SFA ,on Thursday 23rd June, that: “The next three-week review will be very important…then we will be hopeful that we can progress”.
Gould added to that, saying: “There is the opportunity for us to get back to some sort of formal activity, in small numbers with young people back on the pitch and all the guidelines around that in a physically distanced environment.”
“We have seen that in other countries, although we are a few weeks behind, but now we can begin to plan and prepare for that and that environment starting to unlock leading into August and the schools coming back”.
Many people had expected this to be announced, but the SFA haven’t spoken on the topic since they released their Phase 2 plan until now.
This is a big step for the return, however, some players and fans are beginning to become more impatient due to the return of top leagues such as the Bundesliga and the English Premier League.
Although the hope is there, Gould highlighted the realism around the situation and how they are challenges that we will have to work around.
“There are challenges there in terms of facilities, for example schools and whether or not they will be accessible. The same in regard to the local authority’s leisure clubs and whether they will open at the same time.”
“We are going to have to work very closely and have patience as we work through that process. We will have to have really good communication and dialogue between clubs and local authorities so they are able to understand what they can and cannot do.”
The SFA have now released a ‘Return to Football Hub’ which can be found at https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/football-development/return-to-football-hub/ .
This is a useful section of their website that provides clarity, resources and information for football players, parents, coaches, fans and clubs about what football-related activities you are able to do now and in the near future.