UPDATE FROM THE YEL OFFICE
COVID-19 Update – Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Lincolnshire move into Tier 4
It has been announced that from 0.01am on Thursday 31st December 2020, a large number of new areas will move into Tier 4 including all of the counties where YEL teams are based.
The Government/FA guidance has made it clear that organised youth football can continue however, there are a number of measures that have been put in place to try to contain the spread of the new variant of COVID including restrictions on teams and players travelling between Tier areas. This is not just limited to travel from Tier 3 to Tier 4 and vice versa but also travel between Tier 4 areas. To put it simply, teams and players CANNOT cross county borders to play football either as individuals or as a team which is particularly harsh on teams that are close to county borders and have players from either side.
Training can continue – ONLY Players from the same county can take part. Eg if you are a Nottinghamshire based team and have four players who live in Derbyshire, these four players CANNOT attend training whilst in Tier 4.
Matches can continue – Games are restricted to teams from the same county ie Dervys v Drbys, Notts v Notts, Leics v Leics. Teams/matches must only include players who all live in the same county.
Not for the first time this season, we are having to be creative to try and provide football for those who want it. With these added complications, this may take a little time so please bear with us for the next seven days by which time we should have a clear picture of who can play – raise a team – and more importantly, who wants to play. With 1200 teams to coordinate, this is not a simple exercise.
We are very grateful to our Tech team at Scoreline who have rapidly created a simple form for you to complete which is now appearing at the top of every Scoreline page. Team managers and club officials have access to it. Two simple questions need answering for us to create YEL organised friendlies. First question is are you able to raise a team with players from the same county ONLY. Second, asks whether you would like us to organise friendlies for you. These answers can be amended/updated if your circumstances change.
Managers/Club Secretaries – if you want your teams to continue playing football, can you please start to compile a list of your players now to ensure they are all from the same county and therefore eligible to play for you. Watch out for county boundary quirks eg Leicestershire poking into Nottinghamshire at Bottesford. Any players living in Bottesford can’t play or train at Bingham, Aslockton, East Bridgford etc as they are Leics and the teams mentioned are Notts albeit less than 5 miles away!
Current YEL Plan
Cup games scheduled have been postponed until further notice – we do still intend to have a cup competition, time permitting, but this will be dependent on when we move back into Tier 3 or the Tier 4 rules become more flexible.
Complete winter season – we are aiming to get the winter season completed as much as possible in the next two weeks – weather permitting. If you are able and are comfortable to do so, please play the matches set for this weekend (2nd/3rd Jan) and next weekend (9th/10th Jan). This should allow us to be able to finalise league positions, with a few exceptions which will be discussed by the YEL Office and decisions made.
16th/17th Jan onwards to the end of January – No final decision taken yet but it looks like we will be running a limited friendly schedule for those teams who are able to and want to play. Further details will be announced, once we have the information back from teams via Scoreline.
February to end of the season – Again this is under discussion. Currently it is a very fluid situation however we will produce a plan A, B & C as we did at the start of the season to ensure we provide the very best opportunities given the prevailing conditions nearer the time. Just to give you a flavour of current thinking, Spring season or no Spring season, Cup or no cup, Champions league style hybrid league/cup format of group games followed by knockout competition for group winners – just a taste of what we are discussing!
In the meantime, we wish everyone well, keep safe and keep following the guidance as people’s health and well being comes way out in front of us playing our ‘beautiful game.’
Rob Harwood CEO
For and on behalf of the YEL Board Issued 11.30am 31/12/2020