Dill encouraged by easing of government restrictions
Government’s easing of restrictions on gatherings from ten to 25 people from today will enable football teams to resume training, though the resumption of matches may still be weeks away.
At a press conference on Monday, David Burt, the Premier announced that gatherings will be allowed to increase to 25 people, but that no large group exemptions will be considered. That would rule out football matches returning at this time.
“We had a meeting with the Bermuda Football Association two weeks ago and we were able to restart training under certain policies and conditions under the government health department,” said Shervin Dill, president of league champions North Village.
“It was a little restrictive but at least it was a start and immediately we put the wheels in motion to start our training sessions back up.
“We’ve had a few sessions, initially groups of ten. We’re still at the mercy of Covid.”
Football, along with other sports, has been sidelined since early December, causing a backlog of matches, four rounds of league games as well as the Friendship Trophy, which should have been completed on New Year’s Day, and the first round of FA Cup matches which were set for last weekend.
With the midnight to 5am curfew remaining for at least another two weeks, the staging of night games to ease the backlog is not likely until the curfew is lifted.
Despite all that, Dill remains hopeful that the season can resume and be completed.
“I’m cautiously optimistic about the season being completed,” he added. “I’m elated that the numbers are increasing in terms of how we can at least start training.
“The BFA programme is a pretty inclusive one in that they communicated with the clubs about the regulations. They have a plan where the priority now is to finish the league.
“If time permits, depending on when we are able to restart, we’re looking to conclude the FA and the Friendship before the end of the season, scheduled for night games, mostly. ”
Last season Village were able to wrap up a ninth league title before the season finished early with a game to play because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Village never got to play against Robin Hood in the FA Cup final after the match was cancelled last April.
“A lot will depends on Covid and what it allows us to do,” said Dill as a second season is interrupted by the global pandemic.
“Now it’s about coinciding dates with field availability. There is still some collaboration to be done.”
Village have been inconsistent in their title defence, winning just three of their eight games so far which leaves them in mid-table, eleven points behind leaders Robin Hood have hold a five-point lead over Devonshire Cougars and PHC and with a game in hand.
“We’re very anxious to get started, but its safety first and we’ll be guided by the regulations,” Dill stressed.
“Even for the junior programme we’re doing some virtual stuff now, sending out virtual training programmes to keep the kids active. We’re forced into alternatives because we can’t let them sit and do nothing.”
The Bermuda School Sports Federation’s All-Star finals, scheduled for Saturday, at the National Sports Centre, will not take place.