Formartine United manager Paul Lawson is trying to remain upbeat, despite the decision to delay the start of the Highland League season.
The 2020-21 season was due to start on October 17, but the league management committee voted on Monday to push that date back until November 28 at the earliest.
The decision was made due to the Scottish Government postponing the return of fans to football grounds indefinitely, having previously set indicative dates of September 14 and then October 5.
Lawson said: “We have to try to keep the players motivated for November and even then we don’t know what is happening.
“The league had to make this decision, we can’t keep holding off as things have to be put in place.
“I can certainly understand why they have pushed back the start date, although it doesn’t take away your frustration when it happens.
“We all want to be playing football, but we just have to get on with it.
“It has been a strange year and we have to adapt as best we can. I have to try to remain optimistic that we will get back playing in November.
“We have to cling to any glimmer of hope.
“I’m desperately wanting the games to start, so I’m trying to keep a positive attitude in the hope that it will happen.
“Who knows what will happen? We just have to see what transpires, but hopefully we can get the games started again.”
Lawson feels Highland League clubs would be able to have fans back through the turnstiles in a safe and socially-distant manner and admits he struggles to understand why people can spend their Saturday afternoons drinking inside in a pub, but they aren’t permitted to spend 90 minutes outdoors watching a match.
He said: “I think that is the biggest frustration for a lot of people at our level.
“A lot of things don’t add up and we also have to remember the positive impact football can have on people’s mental health.
“People enjoy going to play and watch football. It can be a release for a lot of people.
“It is a shame people are going to have to wait a bit longer to get that back, but it does make it harder to understand some of the decisions when you look at other things that are allowed at the moment. It is frustrating for the players and myself.
“A lot of people have put in a huge amount of work behind the scenes to get us back training and playing pre-season friendlies.
“The players have been working so hard in training to get ready for the new season and it has been pushed back again.”