Cheltenham Town Ladies have seen their end to the season disrupted by COVID-19 with the FA reaching the decision to void the South West Regional Women’s Football League as a result.
Park Life Sport caught up with centre-back Cerys Dolloway in training to discuss the changes and challenges COVID-19 has imposed the Ladies team.
“I feel like everyone had an affect on COVID-19 mentally but none of us has been fully affected. Although one of us, Sam Morris is a paramedic and obviously she got it early on but she’s fully back now and it didn’t affect us as a team because it was before we could train, other than that, it’s really just been delayed and then the not knowing when the season was going to start but we’re back into it now.”
Over the months, Tom Davies’ side undertook socially distanced training sessions following the right restrictions and guidelines put into place by the Government in preparation for the 2020/21 campaign.
“At first we could only do small groups in training so it was managed like that, socially distanced and everything. Once lockdown rules had relaxed a bit we could then do more, we’ve just been sensible about it all and then making sure we’re following the right recommendations.
“We’ve had a few games where there was a small amount of fans that could come in so that was nice that we had close relatives that could attend.”
Without a doubt, it has proven to be a tough start to women’s football, as the Gloucestershire side saw their opening fixture postponed. The team is also left without the support of fans due to the pandemic.
“It’s a shame that fans can’t come in but we’ll continue focussed on our game.”
Despite the disappointment, the Ladies eventually went on to seal all three points against Chesham United as Jade Grove netted the winner, registering her first goal for the club since joining from Boldmere St. Michaels Ladies this summer.
“I think we adapted well to the pandemic to be fair, it’s been great to come back with the team, obviously after the whole lockdown and everything so I think we’ve really gelled together as a team and got through it.”
Last week, Davies and Co travelled down the M5 to face Larkhall Athletic but were unfortunate to not come away with all three points after letting a two-goal lead slip.
The Robinesses will be looking to bounce back when they welcome Maidenhead United on Sunday, October 11 at the DN Fire Stadium at 2 pm.