Football returns and the clubhouse is (nearly) ready

Kathrin Kobus

It was a long interruption no one had truly anticipated back in March when suddenly the Covid 19 crisis grew much larger and stopped everything, not just on the sports level, in its tracks.
The football leagues were about to begin, training was in swing after the winter break. Suddenly the slogan was “stay at home and safe”. Of course, we had the park at the doorstep. So exercise was possible. Runs, jogs are one and for team sports it really mattered to get back together on the pitch. But all teams from all age groups waited for the anticipated return for contact training allowed which finally came 29th of June.
Since then training has restarted and friendlies were played on the pitches again.
The first really big event came on Friday 24th July for the new women’s team in the EWFL.
Before this very first competitive game between St Pats CYFC and Sportslink got the inaugural cup for the new tournament. It is the Teresa Healy Cup and her daughter Fiona took the honours.
“We wanted to pay tribute to Teresa Healy, who represented in every way how important strong women are in all our lives and to keep her memory alive through football, and we have commissioned a cup for the newly-established Eastern Women’s Football League (EWFL) a fitting tribute we hope.” it said in a statement released by the club.
The game on the pitch inside the stadium was quite enjoyable when after a nervous start Kim Flood scored the first goal just before half time. In the second half Bethane Hand secured the win with another goal. Later, the team played their next group game away at Whitehall Rangers. After that it was one win, one defeat after two games and now it is back to training till the league will kick off soon.
Still in training and in preparation for a new season is the team formerly known as the Cambridge FC minors, who will now play as StPats CY for two seasons in the U19 category. A friendly game against Broadford Rovers saw the young squad of Alan Cummins and Bren Heyes 3:2 winners. One word Bren Heyes uses when talking about the new challenge of U19 is transition. “We were actually asked by St Pats last year, but the boys were really too young then. So now we have a team, some are 2002, some 2003. They will play one or two seasons in the U19 and then it makes the transition easier to continue playing in an adult team. It is the right pathway.”
That is in line with the big plans St Pats announced to combine the efforts with Cambridge FC to keep lads and girls playing football beyond school age and locally. It offers a chance “To allow all ages in our community to enjoy football throughout their playing career.”
So far in the last few weeks the U19 group has held open training sessions to welcome new players. While this is still an opportunity, training proper shifts now for a season start in September and they are entered as St Pats CY.
There will be once a week a combined training session with the senior O35s team. Makes interesting times, surely.
The O35s started their league as well with a win, 5:2 over Rialto FC, the score line is a bit harsh on the visitors given “a rusty Ringer” performance in the second half.
Lastly, there is the clubhouse, the stadium extension finally ready to be taken over for the finishing touches inside and hopefully ready for purposeful use in the autumn.