Mental health has to be a priority when it comes to football says Loxwood chairman Mark Lacey

Loxwood FC chairman Mark Lacey is calling for the season not to be declared null and void – to help with people’s mental health.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 10:07 am
Updated Thursday, 14th January 2021, 10:10 am

Lacey believes that footballers should be back playing and training as soon as possible - and as soon as it’s safe.

It looks inevitable that the season for steps 5 and 6 clubs will be ended soon, but how the season will be resolved is yet to be decided.

Loxwood chairman Mark Lacey

When the season was suspended in December, Loxwood were tenth in the SCFL premier.

But Lacey believes there needs to be some kind of football played to help the mental health of not just the players but the fans and committee too.

He said: “I’ve felt that mental health for everyone has been of big worry.

“We have long-term members of our committee in their 60s, 70s and 80s who have not been able to be around the club, staying indoors and shielding.

“I speak to them once a week to keep them updated and involved in club, sending pictures of work around the ground, and updates on players and management.

“We have even named the stands after George Read and Derek Waterman who have been part of the club for 25 years plus.”

Lacey understands it’s a difficult and unique situation the SCFL and the FA are dealing with, but he believes they have to get football back in some form.

He said: “I think it is important that when safe to do so we get back playing and training as soon as possible for players and everyone’s mental health.

“I realise it is a difficult situation for the league and the FA; however if the league can be continued until June and we can play as many games as possible – even maybe we play Tuesday and Thursday, playing each other once – we could finish the league.

“We could then go straight into next season.

“There could also be mini-leagues with local cross divisional teams so no real travel until May when we restart and we can then get pitches ready.

“However I feel we need to get back on the pitch as soon as it’s safe. I really feel it will help mental health, not just players, but fans, the committee and families involved in football.”