HELENSBURGH FC manager Sam Gemmell has admitted that he’s “scunnered” by life without football during lockdown.

The Burgh boss told the Advertiser last week that he hopes not to have to face too many more football-free Saturdays – but also spoke of his fear that the prospects for competitive football on any significant scale during the 2020-21 season are growing increasingly remote.

The club’s players haven’t been able to train so far this year following the country’s move into a national lockdown just after Christmas amid rising coronavirus cases.

Gemmell’s troops haven’t taken part in friendly matches since travelling between council areas for non-essential purposes was banned in October.

Plans are in place for the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL, which Helensburgh compete in, to kick off again as soon as the restrictions are sufficiently eased – however Gemmell admitted this week that he thinks the chances of that, at least in the short term, are increasingly slim.

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“We trained until just before Christmas,” he said, “but obviously we haven’t been able to do anything since.

“The league told us on the last Zoom meeting that to complete a league season we would have to start playing the last weekend in February, and that obviously doesn’t take into account any postponements.

“Their last fall back date is sometime in April, and starting then you can get one round of fixtures in playing everybody at least once.

“If the league were to start on one of those dates, then there wouldn’t be time for any friendly games – you’d be right into it.

“I think we’ll end up getting a cup competition in and that’s it, but I don’t think we will be able to do anything until they sort out the vaccine.

“There’s another meeting next week so we’ll find out what the script is then, but it’s not looking great.

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“I’m scunnered. I’ve been involved in football for more than 20 years and I’ve never felt like this – you say ‘football, what’s that?’.

“You get into the habit of not being there on a Saturday now.

“Once it all kicks off again and you’re back at training and the likes, it’ll be fine, but I’m not sure how the lads feel about it all just now.”

Helensburgh are continuing to push their weekly lottery with a jackpot of £480 now up for grabs – and Gemmell says he’d welcome any support for the club after they were forced into postponing all their fund-raising events in the past year.

He added: “We were due to have our sportsman’s dinner in May, and we had to pull the plug on that, which is a big money spinner for the club, and there’s all the other wee things you normally do.

“It’s not a huge amount that comes in but it keeps us ticking away and it helps.”

It costs just a pound to play the lotto, and you can register at www.ourclublotto.co.uk/play/helensburghfc.

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