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Coach: Grass roots football needs to return

Grassroots football coach Jay Vernalls has started a petition pleading with the Government to ease restrictions on football and club sports training and playing.
Crowland U13s
Jay with Crowland under-13s. Photo: Supplied

Jay has already attracted local backing in his calls asking PM Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock to give the green light to kick starting grassroots football.

At the moment, youngsters are allowed to train in groups of up to six outdoors, providing they are socially distancing; in line with Government guidelines.

However, Jay - who runs Crowland Juniors U13 and has a team of 14 players - wants to see the restrictions on numbers allowed to train lifted, and contact playing to commence.

He said: “The current guidelines mean that the team can’t play games at present and can only train in split groups and separated.

“I’m asking the government to re-consider at the present situation. If we can allow pubs to open, have scenes where thousands of people are crowded on beaches and see hundreds of people queuing to get into clothing shops – then why can’t I train 15 lads together playing the game they love, outdoors in the open air away from iPads and the Xbox?

“The longer lockdown goes on, the more our young people will suffer both mentally and physically by not having contact with team mates and getting exercise up to three times a week with training and matches.”

Jay added: “I have had many parents contact me with genuine concerns for their children’s mental wellbeing, and this had led me to starting the petition.”

If you would like to support Jay and find out more visit