Old Southendian boss, Dave Tubbs, offered an insight into the importance of ProKit UK Essex Olympian League football returning for the Garon Park club.
The Old Boys first team head to Bishop’s Stortford Swifts for a Premier League encounter following the lifting of restrictions surrounding grassroots sport, while their second-string host Bishop’s Stortford Swifts in an eagerly anticipated Division Two clash and Tubbs can’t wait to get going.
“The lockdown affected everyone involved in grassroots football,” Tubbs told Yellow Sport.
“Regardless of league positions and form, we live and breathe football. We were unable to organise training or play matches. That can be tough on peoples mental health whether they are players, coaches or supporters.
“It’s our release – the highlight of our week. Everyone will be delighted to get back out there come next Saturday.”
Tubbs confirmed the players had kept themselves in shape with their own fitness programs: “The boys have done what they can, but nothing replicates an organised training session or a match situation.
“It might take a game or two to get the rhythm back but I think everyone is chomping at the bit so it shouldn’t be too long before we are up to speed.
“Grassroots sport is hugely important and will need a shot in the arm once life returns to normal. Hopefully, the enforced interruptions over the last year will result in a positive reaction with footballers realising how much they miss the game and the FA and local councils working together to make the game more accessible and affordable encouraging more potential players back to the game and growing the local leagues.”