Harestanes and Campsie Minerva get ready for amateur football's return
Amateur football is set to resume next month, much to the delight of players at teams such as Harestanes and Campsie Minerva.
And they will be back to some unfinished business. When the competitive action resumes from Saturday, May 22, it will be to complete the unfinished 2019-20 season.
With Covid-19 restrictions easing this week to allow travel across local authority boundaries for training, players at Hares and Minerva can now prepare properly for a return.
It’s been a long, hard road though, as officials at both clubs admitted.
"How do you keep your players happy during these unprecedented times?” said Minerva secretary Wilson McMillan. “The short answer is you can’t.
"The difficulty for Campsie Minerva is that they only have eight players who reside within East Dunbartonshire.
"The lifting of the travelling ban means players are able to get together again. Training sessions have been arranged, smiles were on faces again, but fitness levels are poor.
"Some players have left, some have been brought back, some struggle to make training with work commitments as we come out of lockdown.”
Hares president Ian Colston agrees that mental health has been a major issue for all.
He said: “It’s been the same for everyone in amateur football; it's not been easy trying to keep people engaged.
"The West of Scotland League did kick off and with them being allowed to play there was lot of pressure on people to go to that league.
"As far as Harestanes are concerned we've stayed intact and have four weeks to get the boys back up to match fitness and focussed because we're still in with a chance of winning the league.
"It's unknown; nobody really knows how it's going to affect everyone. It's been such a long time, October was the last time we played.
"All the boys are dead keen to get going again, the coaching staff as well, so it's all positive and I think everybody needs their Saturday afternoon football.
"The league's not in our own hands; there's still four or five teams who could win the league and there's teams below us who have got games in hand against us and could overtake us. But it's still all there to play for."