Key Messages – March 2021 Return to Football

29th March 2021

Key messages for all players and parents regarding the return to grassroots football.

On Monday 29 March, 2021, we officially “Return to Grassroots Football”. This includes training and games programmes (stage 1 of a four stage return).

  • Stage 1 limits activities to use of pitches for training and games, as well as access to toilets 30 minutes before and after planned activities. Hospitality (including use of the canteen), access to changing rooms and attendance of spectators is forbidden at this stage.
  • Each player may be accompanied by one responsible adult (parent, family member or carer), who must exercise COVID-19 precautions – sanitise their hands, use a face mask or covering (unless exempt) and maintain social distancing (two metres) at all times. Viewing areas are marked alongside each training area or pitch.
  • All players must sanitise their hands upon arrival, during recognised breaks in play and at the end of each training session or game. Team coaches will have a sanitising station on each pitch/training area for this purpose.
  • FA guidelines dictate that we must carry out certain checks and tasks prior to each training session and game. These include a COVID-19 wellness symptoms check and an accurate record of attendance for track and trace purposes.
  • We have created a simple electronic wellness symptoms check to be completed by players (or the parent of the player for those under 16) before attending training sessions or games. This must be completed at least 30 minutes before attendance on each occasion.
  • The well ness symptoms check consists of five questions, which each require a Yes/No answer. It takes a few seconds to complete and is available via the Club website at
  • Where any answer is Yes, the player must not attend the relevant training session or game, and should follow UK Government guidelines regarding self-isolation and testing as appropriate.
  • Team coaches will complete a record of attendance for all training sessions and games. This will secure compliance with Track and Trace requirements. This information is retained by the Club for 21 days before being deleted, in line with relevant data protection regulations.
  • Handling of football and training equipment must be kept to an absolute minimum. Team coaches will ensure that footballs and equipment are sanitised prior to each training session or game.
  • The Club acknowledges that players and their parents/carers may be experiencing differing levels of anxiety regarding to the return of grassroots football and life in general post-lockdown. If anyone has any concerns, we ask that they speak to their team coach, or contact Gary Stephenson (Club Safeguarding & Welfare Officer) directly at [email protected], or telephone 07810 655483.
  • Stage 2 will commence on Monday 12 April. This will allow grassroots clubs to re-open hospitality and access to changing rooms, with appropriate COVID-19 measures in place.
  • Finally, we look forward to welcoming you back to Links Avenue and hope you all enjoy the return of our beautiful game.

Club Chairman, Safeguarding & Welfare Officer