Updating the Nest is the positive in lockdown for Loxwood FC
It’s been an incredibly tough time for foootball clubs the last year.
They have battled with stop start seasons, financial issues - and as Loxwood chairman Mark Lacey highlighted last - mental health issues for everyone involved in the football club.
Here Lacey talks about everything the club have been doing during the lockdown periods.
“No one expected year ago we would have been through what we have and as chairman of a non-league football club -and as a dad - I have learnt a lot
Obviously as a club the virus has impacted the club financially from losing sponsors due to impact on their businesses revenues, no fans or matchday income which pays for pitch and ground maintenance, kits, footballs and equipment.
Thanks to Sport England and the Football Foundation we have been supported on some of this however it is hard as it is all grassroots non league football clubs.
In the time since first Lockdown we have improved The Nest with new permitting fencing, dugouts, loos, tea signage hut are all done by myself and volunteers working hard in social distance way along with Covid rules. This is a massive positive to come out of it all. The playing side as we all know been tough last few seasons prior.
Through Covid we had to interview for new management team which had to been done socially distanced at the start and finished via emailed questions and Zoom.
Our new team of Spencer Slaughter and Paul Dollner have worked very hard forming a great group of lads from the training and coaching and in the six and seven months.
For me there is the great togetherness they have as a team which has got stronger and stronger as the weeks and months have gone by from the starting of training in 6s to not knowing if and when the season will start and all the new regulations and then the season stopping for a month and now obviously stopped.
I know how it is affecting me so as a club family we are supporting each other via group chats which myself, Spencer and Paul talk almost everyday and the committee once a week some individuals more.
Player wise Paul has a training plan Strava group which creates banter and fitness among the squad. I have a Zooma group chat with players on which I check in on lads in these tough times .
These young lads live for the football being together weekly and it is a massive hole in their lives - some lads have lost jobs as well so it’s so important to keep in contact and do as much as we can for each other
But nothing will obviously replace seeing each other and playing football.”
You can read Mark Lacey’s thoughts on mental health here