Boss Ant Ward so happy to be back in action
It may have only been a behind-closed-doors friendly, but after the long Covid lay-off, Kimberley MW boss Ant Ward said Saturday's 3-1 win over Blidworth MW was a brilliant feeling.
With outdoor sport given the green light by the Government to return, the Miners quickly set up a series of friendly games to close out a curtailed season to forget.
“We managed to get two training sessions in before the first game,” said Ward. “It felt brilliant to be out there again.
“We are looking at a month of friendlies this month.
“There is nothing at the end of it. It's just to get the lads out and together, playing again with one eye on next season.
“We have some good games coming up.
“We may as well start preparations as soon as we can, though we can't get any new players in yet as you're still tied under FA signing on rules.”
He added: “It was so nice to see people and be back in the footballing environment.
“It was great for everyone to get back into the groove and I think the weather helped too.
“It wasn't just seeing players, it was also seeing committee members and the people who have been managing to get into the ground to do all the hard work.”
Ward said he hoped no more seasons would be ended early by the pandemic.
“It's been a strange time for everyone it's been tough. I think we have suffered more this time around than the first one,” he said.
“This one has had more unknowns and you wonder if you are ever going to get back.
“I just hope we can find a pathway now to keep it going and not have to start and stop again next winter which would be a disaster.
“I hope with the vaccination programme we can find a way not to have to go through all this again.”
Isaac Stones, Aboo Younis, Jordan Lambert grabbed the goals against Blidworth and the club were happy with players' fitness levels after the lay-off.
“We were really pleased with how they came back,” said Ward.