Firstly, we hope this update reaches you safe and well as we prepare for the restart of grassroots football. Following a HFA Board meeting held on Monday evening, it is important that we update our members in terms of the position with County Cup Competitions for Season 2020/21.
It is likely that the new season (whenever we are able to return) is going to look and feel very different whilst we adjust to the easing of lockdown restrictions and the impact of COVID19. With this in mind, we have made the difficult decision not to play county cup competitions in the usual traditional format for Season 2020/21. Instead, we will review the position in the new year and, if possible, look to operate competitions on a smaller scale towards the end of the season (with entry details to be confirmed nearer the time). This decision has been made primarily to give our sanctioned leagues the best possible opportunity to re-establish their respective competitions with our support at the earliest opportunity.
This however sadly will mean that there will be no Saturday Senior Cup Competition played in the new season for the first time since 1918/19 (due to WW1) as we feel this could potentially adversely impact our clubs competing in the FA National League System at the business end of the season. The same may unfortunately apply to the Women’s Challenge Cup although this will also be reviewed in the new year.
We remain committed to completing our county cup competitions programme from Season 2019/20 and we will be working with the remaining teams in these competitions to schedule dates for playing postponed ties.
Whilst writing, I am pleased to advise that Stoneham Lane Football Complex will be re-opening on a phased basis from 6 July 2020 with limited opening hours (5-9pm weekdays and 9am to 1pm at weekends). If this is successful, we will then look to open Winklebury Football Complex and Front Lawn Community Hub on a similar basis.
We record our thanks to our leagues, clubs, participants and army of volunteers who remain supportive and positive in helping us to prepare for the restart of grassroots football as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.
CEO, Hampshire FA