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Deeping pull out of FA Vase amid COVID-19 worries

Deeping Rangers have made the difficult decision to pull out of this season’s FA Vase.

They had been due to play at Hanley Town near Stoke in the First Round Proper on Saturday.

The Clarets are based in a tier three coronavirus area and would have had to travel to Stoke, another high-risk tier three area, to compete in this tie.

Deeping Rangers were 10-1 home winners over GNG Oadby in an earlier round of the FA Vase. Photo: Alan Walters
Deeping Rangers were 10-1 home winners over GNG Oadby in an earlier round of the FA Vase. Photo: Alan Walters

Joint-manager Daniel French described the decision as a “difficult but sensible one” as the club have already had a six-week lay-off due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their squad prior to the recent lockdown.

French said: “It was a difficult decision for us all to make, and it was a committee decision.

“Having seen first-hand what it can do to a club having a COVID-19 outbreak happening, we felt it wasn’t fair on the players.

“We have a lot of school teachers in our squad, who are already in a support bubble with their students, and then that not only has an impact on those kids, but also their families and then also the players’ families as well.

“So we thought, it was a sensible and safe decision to call off the game.

“If we’re looking at it from a football standpoint then we would have wanted to play obviously, but I think common sense has prevailed.

“It wouldn’t be fair to the lads if we ask them to then get into a support bubble with each other again, and travel all the way to Stoke, it just wouldn’t be fair on them.

“Especially not with Christmas on the way, where they could potentially get to see family that they probably haven’t seen in a while, and see elderly relatives, so I think it was definitely the right decision.

“Whilst we’re in a tier three area, we won’t be operating, as we’ve seen exactly what can happen if it does get into the camp.

“I think, both ethically and morally, that’s the right decision.

“It’s now been six weeks since we last trained or played a match, it’s getting down to the point where we seriously have to think about what we’re going to do going forward.

“Because now we probably won’t get the green light until December 16 at the earliest and that will be eight weeks since we last trained, so we can’t get chucked straight into a game.

“So that’ll be another couple of match days we’ll then miss, and it’s going to be a real struggle for us to get the games in.”

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