Keeping Connected - Week Eighteen

21 Jul by Trevor Ridley

Well, what a week it’s been. First we had to stop using the pitches at Chingford Rugby Club and find a new temporary home. Then the FA released their updated guidelines to allow for larger training groups and competitive grassroots football although still with restrictions.

Firstly – we have moved the remainder of the July sessions to Ashton Playing Fields, Woodford Bridge. Full details are in the Events. Please note there is a very strict footwear restriction on Wednesdays when we will be using the astro.

Now the main news – the changed FA guidelines. The headline is of course that groups of up to thirty including coaches can now train together. Hooray!! However it is NOT back to the good old pre Covid training sessions. The FA guidelines detail various measures that have to be in place to ensure safe participation.

The numbers for the two Wednesday sessions on 22nd July will stay as detailed in the Events. The numbers for the two sessions on Wednesday 29th July will increase slightly to twenty per session including coaches. From the 1st August it is hoped that sessions will revert to their pre-covid days with numbers increasing to thirty per session. Participant will still need to book a place at the sessions.

The Club now has to do a Covid-19 Risk Assessment for all our sessions and venues. The Club also has to have a detailed Rules and Restriction document that all participants need to comply with. The main bullet points are:

o – Sessions can be attended by up to thirty participants incuding coaches.
o – You will still need to book yourself onto a session in the Events area.
o – Competitive small sided games can be played.
o – When not playing in a match participants MUST still socially distance from each other.
o – Participants will need to complete a pre-session Covid-19 checklist – click on the paperclip and click on 20200720_ParticipantsSelfAssessment. If you answer Yes to any question please do not attend the session.
o – The Club will temperature check each participant prior to each session.
o – Participants will be expected to bring two or three different coloured tops to allow splitting into teams.
o – Participants will be expected to sanitise hands before and after sessions and during water breaks.

There is a lot more in the Rules and Restrictions document attached to this newsletter (click on paperclip) and everyone is encouraged to read them so they know what to expect and what is expected of them at training sessions. Len Cheston and Mick Mullins are the Clubs designated Covid-19 leads.

So finally we are back to playing football albeit with restrictions still in place but better to play with restrictions than interminable lockdown.

There are two birthdays this week: one of our new members, Michael Brennan and one of the Club stalwarts, John Bancroft – wishing you both a Very Happy Birthday.

Monday night Quiz Night was spiced up with some excellent questions by guest Quiz Master, Mr Phil Stevenson. The Conlans reclaimed their crown but were pushed all the way by both Ann and Tony Weston and Caroline and John Bancroft.

Pilates is continuing on a Thursday for the time being but this will change once the club goes back to it’s normal Thursday walking football sessions.

Finally, with the change of venue to Ashton Playing Fields, which is now the home of Woodford Town FC, I was reminded of the 1986 first round FA Cup match I went to at the old Woodford Town FC ground on Snakes Lane East – Woodford Town v Leyton Orient. Orient broke Town hearts by scoring the only goal of the game, against the run of play, just a minute from the final whistle. Watch it here:

With training and playing back two famous French philosophers views on football come to mind:

“Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football,” – Albert Camus, philosopher and goalkeeper

And :

“In a football match, everything is complicated by the presence of the other team.” Jean-Paul Satre, existential philosopher.

Take care, be safe and see you at training.
Trevor Ridley
PS If you have any news you want to share then please email me at

© Copyright 2020 Leyton Orient Walking FC

Image used © The FA

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