Players at AFC Reading Miami Belles have been giving their thoughts on the impact of lockdown for local football players as they look ahead to a return to action.
The under 14 girls team, based in Woodley, compete in Division One of the Berkshire County Girls Football League.
AFC Reading managed to play four fixtures before the league season was halted due to lockdown. They have had a superb start to the 2020/21 season which has seen them win three and draw one of their four games to put them joint top of the table.
Captain of the team, Isabella Jones, said: “At first it seemed quite nice to have a little break, but little did we know it would turn into months of being stuck inside.
“Its been quite different and hard to get used to the fact that there isn’t any upcoming training sessions and matches, not seeing the coaches and teammates with all the jokes and laughter we have.
“It’s something that I don’t want to have to get used to.Now all we can do is wait for the go ahead which is hopefully not too far from now.”
Teammate Izzy Jeffries said: “During lockdown I have found it hard not being able to play football and train, especially when we were doing so well in the league.
“Not seeing my friends has been difficult as I like to socialise rather than be stuck indoors.
“When football finally returns, I am looking forward to playing matches again with a team full of my friends and seeing them at training and school.
“Lockdown has shown me that if people work together, things can get better.
Another teammate, Abigail Mann added: “Over lockdown I have found it hard not being able to train and play matches with the team.
“The only way of communicating with them was on our players whatsapp group. In my opinion, during this lockdown I have found it harder to motivate myself to get out and exercise mainly due to the weather.
“Going back, I am really looking forward to starting training with my team and playing matches against other teams seeing as we were doing very well this season.”
The team, like many other clubs across the borough, are waiting to hear news of when they will be able to return to competitive action after the latest government roadmap confirmed that team sports and training would permitted from March 29.