Football training returns to the pitch this week

THERE will be goals a plenty when football training recommences on the Coffs Coast this week.

North Coast Football has announced that clubs can commence training from Wednesday, with the suspension of football, including training, to be lifted on Tuesday night.

Spare a thought for the goal keepers though, under training restrictions no deliberate body contact drills can be run, meaning tackling and effectively defence is off the cards.

Along with the bans on tackling, huddles, handshakes and high fives, social distancing of 1.5-metres between players must be maintained.

"Under the (Northern NSW Football Return to Training) guidelines, between two and four groups of 10 players can train on a full-size pitch," North Coast Football general manager Andrew Woodward said.

"The lifting of the (State Government football) suspension allows for training in masters, seniors, juniors, Mini-Roos and the nine clubs in the new Coastal Premier League.

"This news is a significant step in getting the 2020 football season underway for the biggest participant sport on the North Coast," Woodward said.

"We had 5,000 players on our books last year, and we know the majority will be back and are itching to play.

"We've surveyed our players, and they've told us they want to play as much football as they can; as early as they can and for as long as they can.

He said training sessions were an essential first step in getting the season underway.

"We're still aiming to begin our competitions in early July," Woodward said.

"Over the next few days, we will be educating officials and coaches on what can and can't happen at training.

"We're confident that the training programs and guidelines will ensure that players have the skills, fitness and teamwork they need to be ready for the start of the season.

Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland said the Return to Training guidelines have been distributed to all clubs and each club is now working with their local zones and councils to resume training when they are able.

"We understand that not all clubs will return to training at the same time," Eland said.

"There will be a staggered affect throughout the region due to individual council requirements and communication with players and participants.

"However, we hope to see the vast majority back to training by early to mid June." 

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