Argyle / Football

Argyle manager Leonard frustrated as he has no idea when the season might start

PLYMOUTH Argyle Ladies’ manager Dave Leonard admits his plans for the 2020-21 campaign are still up in the air as he does not have a clue when the season will kick-off.

Leonard and Argyle are still waiting for FA guidance as to when the up-and-coming National League will start.

As it stands, the target start date for the 2020-2021 FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship campaigns will be the weekend of September 5-6, 2020. But there has been no mention of when the next level below, the National League, will begin.

Watford, who were top of the National League Southern Premier Division at the time football was stopped due to the coronavirus, have been informed by the FA that they cannot gain promotion to the Championship as there will not be any movement up or down the pyramid, apart from into and out of the Super League.

A worried Leonard said: “I have no idea what the future holds. I have no idea when we are going to play until we get the green light from the FA.”

Normally at this time of the year players are signing up for the new season. Registrations have to be made, cup applications done and a pre-season training programme and warm-up games would have been arranged.

On training Leonard said: “I have players from Somerset, Cornwall, Exeter and south Devon and Lydia Huntley is trapped in Kent. Until I know what’s happening how can I arrange training for six players at a time (which is the current guideline)?

“I am not doing anything. The girls have been doing individual training and until I know what’s happening with the league I can’t do anything. I am not going to bring them all down to train in a group on their own when you can’t do any possession work and you can’t do any tackling. All you can do is run and I don’t see the point in it.”

The only teams preparing to resume playing currently are at men’s Premiership and Championship levels where players are getting tested for Covid-19 twice a week.

“We would never be able to do that,” said Leonard, whose son, Ryan, plays for Championship side Millwall. “For clubs to play they are being tested twice a week, we are not in that position I can’t even see us playing before Christmas. If we have to be tested how is that going to happen?

“For the good intentions I want to play, but I can’t get my head around how we are going to be tested twice a week that we have not got covid. It is not only us but I don’t know how local football is going to deal with that. Lots of questions to ask but not a lot answered.”

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