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Newmains ready for new normal when football returns

By DYLAN INGLIS

CHAIRMAN Ken Davies insists Newmains United will be ready for a return to football when it comes.

The West of Scotland League side have used lockdown to plan for covid protocols for when the game gets back.

After the latest season was cancelled, the wait is on for the 2021/22 campaign, which could get underway in July.

But with restrictions still likely, Davies has lifted the lid on the work behind the scenes at Victoria Park which will ensure things are done properly.

He said: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve had time to sit down, review what we had and find out what was missing.

“The plan for player changing is we would use some of the main room. The teams would be spread out between the original dressing rooms and in the main part of the clubhouse.

“The dressing rooms need to have two metres between each person. I’m not sure you’d find even professional clubs can cope with that so we’ve had to make adjustments.

“The referees have their own room and their own area to come in so there won’t be any mixing between players and the match officials either.

“But we also need to look at controlling the areas around the pitch. The rule is players need to arrive in their own cars.

“When they get here they go straight from their cars and when they’re leaving they need to do the same.”

This season kicked off with no fans inside grounds. But Davies revealed United have been looking at how supporters can be accommodated when it’s allowed.

He added: “We can’t wait to have fans back but it has to be in a controlled manner and that’s the hard part.

“We don’t have stewards so we would have to provide volunteers to help out. We have to keep them safe but we want them back.

“We’ve carried out emergency planning as well. We have clearly labelled exits with a rendezvous point for supporters to gather in the case they are needed to.

“Another thing we looked at was general hygiene, although there shouldn’t be any difference with fans. It’s standard practice – we have to clean the building regularly in a systematic manner.

“There’s a record which keeps track of the last time everything was cleaned, so when the inspector comes we can show we’re keeping up with the protocols.”

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