INNISHVILLA held its first training sessions since the outbreak of the Coronavirus last week and chairman Noel Ryan was pleased with how it went.
The club released a video to show parents the safety measures that they will implement as part of the guidelines outlined by the Football Association of Ireland.
Villa’s U14s were the first team to return last Tuesday evening while their U18s followed suit 24 hours later.
“We did a promotional video to explain to all the kids what we will be doing going forward,” said Ryan.
“In fairness, it was picked up all over the country so we were pleased with that and then we started training last week.
“We went out last Tuesday night with our U14 team and it went very well. We have 20 teams in the club now and we put it out there to all of them, they all saw it so we will have to make more plans going forward.
“We had limited training last week, we didn't have training every night we only had the two teams up to see how it would go and it went well.
“We have the advantage that we are after building a new €300,000 astro-turf pitch and there is plenty of room on it.
“There are three divides so we were able to spread everything out, we planned ahead so there were no children waiting around.
“We divided it into the three sections, we had a 15-minute warm-up, we trained for 15 minutes and then played a game for another 15, they are the limits set in the FAI guidelines.
“That team was only missing one player that didn't turn up, he couldn't make it but I don't think there was any issue with it.
"I think people are fairly positive about this, they were raring to go so parents didn't have a problem with them going back.
“It was a positive experience, our video highlighted what we were going to do and everyone followed it well.”
Following on from the opening of the new astro-turf pitch, the club has also been accepted into the Munster Senior League which Ryan believes shows the progress they’ve made.
“That was a long term project,” he added.
“I've been the chairman for 18 years and when I got involved we had to rent the pitch in Innishannon, we had no grounds and we only had one senior team at the time.
“I had a dream that we would buy our own place one day, we are after spending €1.2million in 15 years which is massive and we are recruiting all the time so we are happy with the progress we have made and we hope it will continue.”