Many grassroots teams across Scotland have been doing different things throughout quarantine to keep themselves busy since training and leagues around the country have been cancelled.
This has been a tough time for everyone. One of the age groups within Dumbarton’s local community club, Dumbarton United 2005's have been doing a range of things in lockdown to keep them occupied since the cancellation of training sessions and their league.
They were sitting 2nd place in the table with four games to go and, if all four had been won (including a game against the league leaders), the title would have belonged to them in what was only their second year as a newly formed age group within the club structure.
This was disappointing, although understandable given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in, but to keep their thoughts off what could have happened, the players have:
● Participated in an online FIFA tournament which also involved the coaches
● Completed the Run 5 Donate 5 Challenge
● Completed the Toilet Paper Challenge
● Had FIFA cards created by their sponsors for players
● Completed several home workouts
● Donated to the local food bank
● Completed the KTA Keepy Up Challenge
● Continued their monthly Magic Number Competition
The yearly club presentation was also hosted on Zoom, which was a great success and allowed the players and coaches a chance to catch up and close off what was a disappointing end to the season.
Andrew Carroll, one of the club’s strikers, enjoyed the new type of presentation, and said: “Our coaches felt that we deserved to have an awards night due to our fantastic season.
“It was unusual but worked surprisingly well. It wasn’t our normal presentation as we would have obviously seen each other in person if it was.”
Finally, the club has also received messages from a list of players and former players including Barry McKay, Murdo Macleod, Andy Considine, Kyle Hutton, Lawrence Shankland and Ross Doohan, who all wished the players and coaches good luck for next season, whenever that will start up again.
Everything that they have done has really helped the whole team's morale and mental health, as well as physical health with some of the challenges.
However, the club is still finding this time tough to get through, as so many around Scotland are, but they are hoping to come back stronger next season. They are actively looking for more challenges to keep them busy and are positive they will find some.
When asked about the entire Coronavirus situation, lockdown and missing football, David Lavery, head coach of the side, said: “I’ve been coaching for almost ten years and during that time I thought I had seen most things, however, what we are going through currently is the most difficult time I could ever have imagined.
“We have 20 boys in our squad who all love and live for their football and it has been taken away from them with no real clear picture of when they might get it back.
“I know there are far more important things going on at the moment and football may seem pretty insignificant to some people, however, I genuinely believe that football has such an important part to play in these boys lives and mental health, particularly at the age they are, so hopefully, in the coming weeks or months, we can start to take steps to return to the pitch with the boys.
“If someone had said at the beginning of February that I would miss 20 teenage boys the way I do just now I’d have laughed, but that is the reality of the situation.”
The most important things to do right now are to stay safe, stay happy, stay fit and healthy and protect your loved ones.