SYACL looks ahead to competitive restart

Virtual meeting welcomes new Committee members.

With 7-a-side action scheduled to restart on Sunday 11th April, in line with Government guidance, the organising committee of the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League met virtually on the 30th of March to plan the return to competitive action, writes Margaret Gregory for SYACL.

Chairman Mike Stylianou introduced our new secretary, Paul Jubb from Bradford City Disability FC, and a new Treasurer, Tony Pratt, a trusted former colleague of Mike’s from the education sector.

Darren’s widow, Sharon, will continue to be point contact for any safeguarding issues raised at any of our participating clubs.

With the safeguarding of young people and vulnerable adults very much in the public eye, clubs were reminded of the requirement to review their safeguarding procedures in line with current FA guidance, and to document permission to the SYACL website to post images of participants on-line and on social media.

FA Guidance is available at

The SYACL has reviewed its Covid Risk assessments and shared these with Concord and Goals Sheffield.

Although FA guidance permits the return of a limited number of spectators from 12th April, the SYACL Committee had decided to continue with its restrictions on the size of squads for match days for the final round of 7-a-side matches on the 9th May, and the final round of 5-a-side matches on 23rd May. This decision was endorsed unanimously by the participating clubs, and so 7-a-side squads remain limited to 10 players and two coaches, and 5-a-side squads restricted to 8 players and 2 coaches.

The meeting reviewed the SYACL’s existing protocols for match days, including temperature checks on arrival, the wearing of masks and the strict separation of squad bubbles.

Mike was able to update the Committee on consultation with the FA over dispensation for mixed gender adult football.  “I’m pleased to inform you that the FA have this morning agreed to our request to continue mixed gender adult football for next season,” Mike explained. “Due to the difficulties of the last year, they recognise and accept that it would be almost impossible for new female teams to be formed.”

“Female players will continue to play with the male players for season 2021/22, in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League. However, for safeguarding reasons it will only be in the 5-a-side league and will not be permitted for 7-a-side.”

For further details on the 7-a side restart, follow:

or check us out on Twitter @SYACL 

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