With Tuesday’s news from the government, that steps to bring fans back to football grounds have been put on hold, it was no surprise that the first questions in this week’s virtual press conference were centred around the impact that this is having and going to have on women’s football.
First Team Head Coach Lisa Fallon started by explaining, “It's been a really strange experience for everybody in football. But in greater society as well. We've all learned in this time to be adaptable and to be able to change and make adjustments as and when things require it. That for me is probably the biggest thing, that we've just continued (now games are under way) to always maintain a safe environment for everybody, for players and staff and that we follow the guidelines that were given."
“Obviously, it's been disappointing not to be able to have the supporters in and that's something that we all hope to see in time. But you can't override the safety aspect and we all have to follow the government guidelines, and all have a responsibility to do the right things and to do what's best for everybody”
Unquestionably safety has to come first, but clubs across many sports will recognise that the delayed return of supporters will continue to have a financial impact. And of course, fans in the grounds helps to create an atmosphere at games. In the meantime, everyone at London City Lionesses will continue to do the right things, be supportive, show togetherness and resilience, to get through this in the best possible way. That’s really important for society not just the football community.
Goalkeeper Shae Yanez was on hand to give a players perspective, “You have to be adaptable. Obviously, We're in uncertain times. We never know when this is going to end. So, it's definitely different not playing with crowds, but you just go into practice and training every day and give it your all. You have to do what you can, and we have to focus on us and what we can do and obviously playing. With no crowd it definitely changes the atmosphere, but we're still able to play the game, which is great.”
We all recognise we’re in unchartered territory. There's no doubt about it, that the impact of the pandemic will be significant. However, Fallon was clear on her role, “My focus as a football manager is to prepare my team and that's ultimately what I have to do. My job is to look after my players and my staff and to follow the instructions and trust the guidelines given and keep the games going in the safest possible way.”
Fallon and her squad are currently preparing for this Sunday’s game away against Durham 12 noon KO. You can watch live on Durham’s Facebook page by clicking HERE.
And you can also follow live updates on Twitter @LC_Lionesses