We recently caught up with team manager Dylan Williams, who has talked about lockdown, team spirit and next season.
What was your reaction to the recent announcement that the competitive season at Tier 3 and below will be cancelled without any competitive matches having taken place?
It was not a surprise to be honest. Until the announcement, we all had hope of playing competitive football. But the announcement was not a huge surprise, it is more important that we all stay safe and well during these surreal times.
What has it been like to be a manager during such a period of uncertainty?
Due to no football, we certainly have not trained or coached. But as a manager, it's my responsibility to ensure all the players and staff are well, mentally and physically, therefore it involves having to engage them in different ways.
During the lockdowns, how much have you and the coaching team been focusing on how the squad's been doing psychologically as well as physically?
We are constantly talking to each other, whether that is via group chats, personal chats or Zoom meetings. We held a recent Zoom meeting outlining the reasons why tiers 1 and 2 were given elite status that featured brief announcements from the board and our proposals for next season. We talked about the importance of staying together and looking after each other, outlining the importance of supporting each other, wellbeing, mental health and having someone to talk to.
What you have been doing to keep people motivated and maintain the sense of togetherness that was so apparent in our first season as a club?
We are fortunate to have senior players within the group that engage with the younger players. We have spoken about a few new ideas within the group to create that virtual changing room, via Zoom events etc.
How are things progressing with plans for next season, which we hope will begin in August?
We certainly hope to be back training prior to that date. As a group of coaches, we will be revisiting all aspects of the game, via Zoom, as we did earlier in the year. We'll also be working alongside our analyst in full preparation of the commencement of training.
Finally, do you have a message for 1876 fans?
We as a group - from coaches to players - miss you all and we want to you to know we are thinking of you at these very difficult times. If the club can help you in any way, we are here for you all. Stay safe and hopefully in the not-too-distant future we will be back together again representing your club with pride. #1876family #ourclub