Turriff United manager Kris Hunter would be willing to start pre-season training with social distancing measures in place if it means being able to start next season’s Highland League sooner.
Plans may be in place in the SPFL for starting next term, but in the Highland League level it’s still not clear when they will be able to begin in the new campaign.
Turra boss Hunter believes initially clubs could start pre-season training while following social distancing measures.
The Haughs gaffer believes it’s important for the Highland League to have some clarity about when they could the new season.
Hunter said: “In terms of pre-season training whether it’s one metre or two I think we could do most of the pre-season work and following social distancing measures.
“Initially you’re doing a lot of running work and it’s not towards the end of pre-season you’re doing game related stuff.
“Players could be split into groups and do their running socially distanced and not have contact.
“So we could do that to start with. I think we need to get back to normality sooner rather than later.
“The country as a whole has done well to follow the restrictions but there’s going to come a point where we need to get some normality back.
“Football at all levels is a big part of people’s lives and it’s important to a lot of people to have a plan to bring it back.
“My worry is that teams dwindle and we might lose teams if this goes on too long.
“Once pre-season starts you need to start paying players again and to be able to do that you need to have certainty that when the games start crowds will be able to attend so clubs know they will have money coming in to meet the wages.
“Hopefully as the restrictions begin to lift hopefully in the Highland League we can get back playing shortly.
“I think when it comes to social distancing measures and things we could get our crowds in and they’d be able to spread out because there is the room in the grounds.”
The testing procedures Scotland’s top clubs are currently required to follow would be too expensive for Highland League sides.
However, Hunter is hoping before too long without the need for testing.
The Turriff boss added: “Pubs are about to be opening again indoors soon, now if you don’t need to be tested to go into a pub then I think when it comes to it if you’re ensuring everyone keeps their hands sanatised and follows social distancing when they’re not on the pitch then do you need to test?
“Nobody at our level can afford to test players and staff twice a week, but if common sense is used I think we could get going again.”