Soccer and rugby set for return to training
SOCCER and rugby union players on the Far North Coast will be allowed to return to training a month earlier than expected and could be back on the park next week.
FNC rugby union can go back on Tuesday while soccer will return on Wednesday.
Most sports across the Northern Rivers were expecting a return to training date no earlier than July 1 under NSW government and health restrictions.
Both codes will be restricted to groups of 10 and will be limited in what they can do.
Football Far North Coast general manager Steve Mackney welcomed the announcement from Northern NSW Football but said "normal training" was still a long way off.
"The circumstances changed rapidly in the past 48 hours and it's great news," Mackney said.
"It won't be a return to normal but it will help put us on a path to return to some form of competition by the middle of July."
Mackney said there was plenty of work ahead with just over 7000 participants playing soccer on the Far North Coast.
Clubs will need to look at a staggered return to training and split teams up over different nights.
"There will be no more than 10 players in any quarter of the field," Mackney said.
"The clubs will have to get confirmation from council about using the fields and what they're allowed to do there.
"We have a lot more ahead of us before a return to play date is set and we still don't know what the season will look like."
FNC rugby union will operate with non-contact training under the current guidelines.
Training will be restricted to coaches, managers and players (parents in attendance for juniors if required) to comply with social-distancing requirements and to minimise contact.
Coaches and team managers will be in touch with their players to discuss the start of training over the coming days.