Green shoots for football.

The local game made some tentative steps on the road to starting the season this last week.

The draws were made for the extra preliminary round of the F.A. cup to be played behind closed doors on Tuesday 1st September. There will be no replays this year with all games being played to a conclusion. The romance is still there and this year there are 20 new teams who have never competed in the cup before. Some of the teams have progressed from lower levels and Sunday League and show that the game is still developing despite the pressures put on Non League clubs as personified by Droylesden’s recent demise. Hope that they will be back in the future, stronger.

The F.A. also drew the initial rounds of the Vase and Trophy competitions.

The issuing of Premiership and ELF fixtures have also meant that other leagues can now progress theirs and should be out in the next few days.

20 MP’s have also written to the Government to request an urgent review of allowing spectators into lower level football matches as average crowds make it easy to Social Distance. It will also open club houses and generate some much needed income. These Community clubs need to survive and preserve the local game that helps in mental welfare, exercise and a lot more.

During the inactivity an army of volunteers have cleared, cleaned, painted and created some of the best pitch surfaced ever seen.

Finally my brand new copy of the Non League Club Directory for 2020/21 has landed on my door mat. I couldn’t wait for Christmas this year.

So some steps forward and I hope it will not be much longer until I can watch a live game of football again.

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