GRASSROOTS football will be ready to kick off again in September, say local Herefordshire League managers, should Government chiefs give the game the green light to restart.

After the premature curtailment of last season in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak, local clubs admitted to the Advertiser they were ‘chomping at the bit’ to get back into action.

Government lockdown guidelines have already been relaxed to the extent that sports teams are allowed to train in groups of up to six people.

That relaxation has persuaded Division One side Tenbury United to resume training and joint boss Aaron Morris is keen to get competitive football under way even earlier than September.

He said: “I would be in favour of starting in early August because that stops us chasing our tail later on in the season.

“You always get waterlogged pitches and things like that that can leave you with a backlog of games so if we started early, that would give us some leeway.

“The lads are chomping at the bit to play, especially with last season having finished early. They are all really eager to play, having been stuck inside during lockdown and not really able to do anything.”

Ludlow Colts, Clee Hill United and Tenbury United, meanwhile, are yet to return to training but all said they had their eyes on doing so in the coming weeks.

Colts are set to be boosted by the return of double-winning former manager Scott Mackenzie for next term’s second tilt at the Premier Division as he will assist boss Mark Tonkinson, who said he was looking to resume training in mid-July.

The early end to last season robbed Clee Hill of the chance of back-to-back Premier Division crowns and boss Wayne Whitbread admits they are itching to get back on to the pitch.

He added: “We’re having a club meeting on Thursday and hoping to start training the following week as we normally begin in the first week of July anyway. We’re desperate to get going again.

“We have not heard anything from the league but they are as up in the air as anyone else. It’s difficult at the moment for anyone to lay any plans.

“Touch wood, everything is going in the right direction and if it carries on like this, I can’t see any reason why we can’t start in September.

“I guess it depends how the next month goes – everyone has got to be safe, it’s safety first at the end of the day,” Whitbread added.

Tenbury Town boss Keiran Fish agreed, adding: “I’m just playing it safe, waiting for concrete evidence that we can start doing something without causing offence.

“But I think July is a good starting point because we’ve still got god knows how long until September then."