NEW FOCUS: From June 12 when training return, Southern Downs Football Academy will focus on passing and shooting drills to comply with virus restrictions.
NEW FOCUS: From June 12 when training return, Southern Downs Football Academy will focus on passing and shooting drills to comply with virus restrictions.

Football academy announces date for training kickoff

FOOTBALL: The outlook for the 2020 season is becoming clearer for members of the Southern Downs Football Academy, with training sessions expected to resume on June 12.

A set of guidelines released by Football Queensland detail the regulations clubs will have to put in place to ensure players safety while the threat of coronavirus remains.

Academy director Tim Gaske said the return of training sessions would be welcomed by athletes, coaches and parents.

"Over the past couple of weeks, I've been getting messages from kids chomping at the bit wanting to get back to training," he said.

"As an Academy, we'll follow all of the guidelines laid out by Football Queensland and as coaches, we'll get together in the next week or so to see how we approach those."

Groups of no more than 20 will be able to meet under the Queensland Government's second phase to easing restrictions, with athletes to remain socially distant at all times.

It will be the first time in over three months athletes will be able to train together, however Gaske said coaches were likely to initially prioritise skills and drills.

"Our coaches have the ability to run sessions with different things in place," he said.

"We know what we can and can't do, and there are definitely practices that we can do with groups of 20 at a distance.

"Shooting and passing practice will be our main focus for a while."

While Toowoomba Football League and Football Queensland are yet to make an announcement on the return of the competition season, Gaske said it wouldn't deter the Academy from training.

"We're a training provide and if kids still want to train, we can offer that," he said.

"We'll go ahead and continue to train right through to the end of the year so there will be an avenue for kids looking to keep their touch.

"The kids enjoy playing soccer and that's the beauty of the Academy."

Now with a date to work towards, Gaske hoped the return of organised club sport will encourage more people to take up a sport.

"It's been a really good break, a forced break but it just shows how much people do miss physical activity," he said.

"It might be really good for our Academy to open up and it might be an opportunity for parents to put their kids into soccer.

"The sport, the team spirit thing and getting among their mates; it will be good to see a lot of kids get out and get active again."