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Covid-19 disruption leaves Walsham-le-Willows manager with 'mixed emotions'

It’s been a whirlwind week at Walsham-le-Willows – one that has left manager Trevor Collins harbouring ‘mixed emotions’.

After what had been a positive pre-season, Collins and his side were preparing to open their season up on Tuesday with a trip to Newmarket Town in the Emirates FA Cup.

Not only was it a chance to pit their wits against one of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division’s much fancied teams, but also an opportunity to win some crucial prize money.

Walsham-le-Willows manager Trevor Collins
Walsham-le-Willows manager Trevor Collins

However, news broke on the afternoon of the game that a member of the Walsham squad had tested positive for Covid-19 upon his return from a holiday in Zante.

Walsham, therefore, had to forfeit their place in this year’s competition. And while they have a clear conscience, an element of frustration lingers.

“We became aware of the situation over the weekend and held some lengthy discussions,” said Collins.

“It’s caused mixed emotions because we’ve followed the guidelines and ultimately have done the right thing.

“Had we not said anything, gone to Newmarket and a few of their players ended up becoming infected, they’d have not been happy and rightly so.

“We have done everything right and I felt better waking up Wednesday morning knowing that than had we gone and played.

“But there is also a bit of frustration because we’ve waited so long to play. And not only that, there is the finance involved in the FA Cup as well.

“Everyone knows we are not the most financially supported club and we have still made the right decision.

“I just hope that it doesn’t open a can of worms and that other clubs start to not cancel their games and hide things.

“There needs to be some direct guidelines from the FA on what needs to be done because clubs cannot sustain this financially all season.”

All of the Walsham players and the management team have since been tested for the virus, and so far the results that have been returned are negative.

Even so, the decision has been taken to postpone Saturday's league opener at Godmanchester Rovers.

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