Dave Hewson believes the focus for his Penrith AFC first team players should be on “fitness and enjoyment” when post-lockdown football kicks off again.
It has been announced that, subject to FA Council approval, the competitive league season for clubs at steps 3-6 of the National League System — including the Ebac Northern League in which Penrith play — was being “curtailed with immediate effect”.
This comes after the 2019-20 campaign was declared null and void after the first national lockdown came into force and put the brakes on football just under a year ago.
Blues boss Hewson said he and his players had accepted the latest ruling.
“I know it’s frustrated a lot of people,” he said.
“A lot of teams will feel hard done by and frustrated but unfortunately it was kind of expected. No decision was ever going to please everybody and I know that a lot of the teams at the top will feel very hard done by and rightly so. I can see exactly where they’re coming from.
“The general feeling around our players is that they’re keen to get started, just training and getting together, even if it’s just for an hour.”
With outdoor training able to start from March 29 under the proposed government road map out of lockdown, Penrith officials are weighing up match options for the weeks ahead.
They have declined to join a Northern League cup competition which could start after Easter, but would be keen to be involved in a separate competition for Cumbria clubs which may take place, although club officials are adopting a “wait and see” approach.
“Nothing’s set in stone but there’s the opportunity and the chance something may come before the end of the season,” said Hewson.
“I think the emphasis needs to be on fitness and enjoyment. It’s been a long time away from football and a long time away from any activity for everybody.
“So I don’t want to be putting any unnecessary pressure on players.
“Whatever opportunity we get to play some games, I’m sure the lads will be champing at the bit to do it.”