Competitive football on course for September return

Football | Published:

ISLAND football clubs are on course for a return to league football from 5 September, following the release of new guidelines by the Jersey and English Football Associations.

Jersey Bulls could welcome UK sides to Springfield from August for pre-season friendlies Picture: DAVID FERGUSON

Updated guidance was approved by the UK government late on Friday night and provides strong recommendations for a phased-approach to football at grassroots level, beginning with the immediate resumption of competitive training for groups of up to 30 and then pre-season fixtures from August.

From September, grassroots leagues such as the Jacksons JFA Combination, and steps one to six of the National League System, including the Combined Counties Football League, featuring Jersey Bulls, can also commence.

Another key date for Bulls is Saturday, 19 September, when the first qualifying round of the FA Vase will begin. The club plans to enter the lower-league competition in their second season before a potential move into the FA Cup in 2021/22. For now, though, they await the green light from the Government of Jersey to be able to resume full training activities and begin to plan for competitive matches, while guidance for permitting spectators at Springfield Stadium is also due.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday that spectators could return to sports stadiums on the mainland from as early as October, although it remains unclear whether Bulls will be bound by the same predicted timeline.

Matters are further complicated by the fact that Bulls and their opponents will have to travel via Jersey Airport and London hubs to play their fixtures.

Full story in Monday's JEP.

Paul Lees

By Paul Lees
Sports reporter

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