Culcheth Athletic Junior FC – Coaches guidance (COVID-19) – Updated 25th August 2020

Prior to beginning contact training and playing friendly matches the following MUST be undertaken as per Culcheth Athletic Football Club risk assessment process to ensure that the club is COVID compliant against the most recent FA guidance:

1. All coaches and club officials MUST read the new FA guidance in full.Team managers/Coaches in particular need to fully understand the requirements on the following areas before commencement of friendly matches (and contact training);

First aid arrangements – including applying social distancing, except for serious and life threatening injuries where PPE is required and where close contact is needed, and that parents/household members and/or support bubbles are allowed to deal with minor injuries requiring attention (at training and matches). Please make parents aware of this and encourage them to support you.

Requirement for all players (and coaches) to complete self assessment prior to every training sessions and matches. You should also check that the opposition have done this also.

Track and trace requirements – monitoring and recording all players, coaches and spectators present at training and matches to support NHS track and trace. See home and away guide for requirements.

Social distancing requirements (spectators, coaches and players) – The current government guidance MUST be followed regarding people from different households keeping 2 meters apart. Also regarding training and matches social distancing applies pre, during and post sessions/matches. At all recognised breaks and group celebrations social distancing should be encouraged.

Infection control procedures – requirements regarding cleaning equipment, minimising shared use and regular cleaning of ball in breaks in play during matches. Please note that goal keeping gloves and goal keeper shirts should not be shared. If no alternative but to share gloves it is mandated that santizer is applied to hands prior to putting into gloves and immediately once gloves taken off. In addition, the banning of spitting and chewing gum. (Further information on the procedures for the Oaks is detailed in specific briefing note).

Parental Informed consent requirements – Specifically for contact training and matches.

It is also a requirement that you familiarise yourself with the Club’s risk assessment and associated documentation which explain the steps taken by the club to minimise risks of COVID infection.

2. ALL team managers/coaches MUST complete the following form to acknowledge that they have read the FA guidance and understand their role and responsibilities to follow it and the clubs approach.

Coach – volunteer and club official agreement
(Please note that although overall responsibility will lie with coaches, parents can be nominated to support some of the roles subject to relevant safeguarding requirements, i.e cannot do track and trace).

3. Each team MUST have informed consent from parents/carers for both contact training and matches. To date we have put the onus on coaches to collect this but now have developed the following form which should be sent to parents/carers. This acts as both a brief directing them to club documents and is a formal way of the clubs committee gaining assurance as a club.
ALL parents/carers MUST provide consent to participate.

Both firms are linked at the top of this page.


Home games at the Oaks (including friendlies):
For home matches, team managers/coaches need to be fully aware of the different procedures in place at the Oaks to ensure that it is fully compliant with FA guidance.

Booking of friendlies
As per usual rules all friendlies are to be entered onto OKS to be authorised.
Match requests are to go to Dave Wright Jr so that pitch times can be allocated.
As the home team you are required to provide/send the following to the opposition;
FA affiliation number (W-LAN4588 – 2020/21 season)

A copy of CAFC Risk Assessment (COVID) – available on Culcheth Athletic website.
Confirmation of club personal and public liability insurance (some may ask for proof)
You should ask for a copy of their clubs Risk Assessment and FA affiliation number.
You should also provide them with some key information in advance to enable the opposition to follow the procedures set out for the Oaks / club to be fully compliant as per risk assessment.

The Oaks
A new one way system will be in operation, with the entrance to the pitches being the usual one on the right hand side of the car park, with the exit from the field being in the gap in the centre of the car park. This will be clearly sign posted. This will be of more relevance when the season begins but we want people to get used to the approach.

Track and trace – For home games, you must record every player, home spectators, referee and coaches present, including away team coaches contact details. This can be recorded on a pre-populated form for home teams and completed in advance. For away teams you must request that the opposition list all players, coaches and away spectators (but contact details not required for all). You need to request evidence of this but just having the lead coaches contact details is sufficient as they can then provide details directly to NHS track and Trace. However, initially for friendlies and whilst being tested – teams will be responsible for keeping a list of all players, coaches and spectators for both teams. These are to be kept for 21 days in case of an infection. Opposition should be informed of the requirement for this.

Mandatory Match day Safety briefing – There is a requirement for home teams to brief players and parents (opposition) regarding COVID procedures and code of conduct prior to each match. This can be conducted by a nominated parent or coach. Brief bullets will be provided to ensure consistent approach (see match day safety briefings – which will be available on club website and sent to coaches on the WhatsApp group).

Social distancing – There is a requirement that social distancing (1 m+ but preferably 2m) as per government guidance is applied to spectators at all times, to aid this home and opposition spectators should be on separate sides of pitch and the nominated parent should encourage parents to social distance (although this will be under constant review and may be amended).

The coach should ensure that social distancing requirements for players pre, during warm up, at half time and on completion of match and substitutes throughout are followed. Member of same households/support bubbles are exempt but must be socially distant from others.

Infection control
Hand Sanitizer stations will be located at strategic locations, at the entrance to fields, next to café and containers.

Two buckets (and/or sprays or wipes) will be issued for each pitch to enable the cleaning of footballs at regular intervals as per guidance. These are to be placed one on each side of pitch at the half way line. Cleaning solution will be provided.

Shared equipment – Hand sanitizer should be applied before setting up goals, putting out corner flags and ropes (e.g. handles of ropes, middle of corner flags, goal posts). Contact points should be wiped or sprayed with supplied products. If parents are assisting they should be informed of this.

Players and coaches are advised to use hand sanitizer, pre, half time and post match.
Spectators/coaches should be advised not to handle footballs unnecessarily.

After the match – It is really important that social distancing is maintained after the match and people should be advised to leave promptly, especially when the league season begins as others will be using the facilities and car parking is limited.

Café will operate as a take away with arrangementS being made which will restrict access to the building.

Toilets are to be closed temporarily – opposition should be informed that no toilet facilities will be available.

Reminders: The Oaks is a no-smoking and no-vaping site. No dogs are allowed. No urns are allowed for Health and Safety reasons.

Spot checks will be carried out by club officials, who will encourage social distancing practice and deal with any issues on match days.

As a private facility anyone failing to comply with rules may be advised to leave the site.

Away games (including friendlies)
For away matches, team managers/coaches should expect to be required to do the following:
As per usual rules all friendlies are to be entered onto OKS to be authorised.
Home teams/venues are required the following information sending to them;
FA affiliation number (W-LAN4588 – 2020/21 season)

A copy of CAFC Risk Assessment (COVID).

Confirmation of club personal and public liability insurance (some may ask for proof).

In return you should request at minimum a copy of their Risk Assessment and FA affiliation number.

If the opposition club does not request, or fails to provide, the information detailed above the friendly/match should not proceed as it is unlikely to be following FA guidance.

You should read through the risk assessment and if you are not fully assured do not continue with the friendly.

The opposition team/venue will be required to take steps to support the NHS Track and Trace, therefore there will be a requirement for names and contact details for players and spectators to be recorded. You may wish to check in advance how this is being done to enable you to inform parents about the process and prepare in advance.

Obviously you will be required to follow FA guidance and any specific protocols they have put into place. If you have concerns about the application of the FA guidance you should raise any issues with the Club Welfare Officer.

NB for both home and away fixtures:
Payment of referee fees – We are currently exploring the best way to pay referees, the best practice is to pay by cashless means. However, it is felt that this may be an issue for younger referees and are awaiting further guidance from the WJFL. In the meantime, we are advising that money is placed in an envelope and that ref is advised to sanitise their hands.

Travel to/from ground – Children should only travel with household members/support bubbles as per government guidance and where possible avoid using public transport. Players should travel in kit.

Social distancing – The coach should ensure that social distancing requirements for players pre, during warm up, at half time and on completion of match and substitutes throughout are followed. Player huddles and group celebration should be discouraged. Maybe think through social distanced celebrations with kids especially young ones in advance. Social distancing required for minor injuries – see First Aid guide.

Parents/spectators should apply social distancing rules.