09:00AM, Sunday 10 May 2020
It’s difficult to know what the future holds for clubs like Ascot United at present, but boss Jamie Tompkins and his coaching team are doing what they can to keep the squad engaged and involved through this period of lockdown.
Tompkins added that pre-season friendlies and plans were being put in the diary, even if there’s a strong probability they won’t go ahead as scheduled.
“It’s a very strange time but we’re trying to use it to reflect on the season and self evaluate,” Tompkins added. “We don’t often get a chance like this to have an extended break and it’s allowing us to plan for the future, whatever that looks like. But we do have a pre-season schedule and friendlies planned.
“We’ll try to keep things as normal as possible until we finally do hear from the FA. We’re engaging with the players, some of them are getting together for online group exercises and we’ve had quiz nights together. It’s also important to highlight the mental health impact of this.
“We’re all used to having football as a release from the job in the week or other stresses, so we’ve tried to put things in place for the players. We’ve put together a challenge for the month of May for the players to compete against each other in running and cycling.
“We’re also thinking about the wider club, the youth section, the parents and the coaches to see how we can engage with them. We’ve also recently had a couple of question and answer sessions with some guests that have been well attended, and have come up with a series of challenges for our youth players to do during lockdown.”
The players have also helped raise more than £1,200 for the NHS, pooling the money from the season’s fines tin with their own contributions.
“We want to send out thanks to the NHS key workers,” said Tompkins.
“It’s amazing what they’re doing. We know this money is going to a very good cause.”
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