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Haverhill Rovers player-manager Marc Abbott hoping football returns as soon as it safely can

While finishing a traditional league season now looks unlikely, Haverhill Rovers player-manager Marc Abbott believes it is important football returns as soon as it can.

All of the sides in the Thurlow Nunn Leagues are currently under Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions, and therefore fixtures are suspended with a return date unknown.

Rovers have 27 Premier Division matches left to play before the current end date in mid-May, while a number of other clubs still have 30 or even 31 games outstanding.

Haverhill Rovers player-manager Marc Abbott. Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill Rovers player-manager Marc Abbott. Picture: Mecha Morton

It all points to another premature end to the campaign, but Abbott is eager for a return in some form when it is safe to do so, instead of waiting for the 2021/22 term to get under way in August.

“We were all hoping it wouldn’t come to this but in recent weeks it has only looked like going one way,” he said.

“Finishing the season is looking more and more unlikely, but it’s important football comes back as soon as we safely can.

“Whether that means we form breakaway leagues with teams from our area – like Newmarket and Long Melford – or we play pre-arranged fixtures, like we did recently against Bury Town (5-3 friendly defeat on December 19).

“We need to come back because I fear we’ll lose teams, players and managers if it goes on for too long.

“It’s important for grassroots and non-league football that we keep these people involved.”

The ongoing suspension has provided Abbott and his players with a rare Christmas off.

Abbott wanted his players to enjoy the festive period without worrying about their football commitments, with more focus on maintaining fitness levels in the new year.

“We wanted the lads to enjoy their Christmas and not think about football,” he added.

“We’ll give them a bit more information over the coming days about keeping fit and things like that, but we don’t want to constantly bombard them either.

“They’re grown men who can make their own decisions but it’s important that we keep them engaged.”

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