Magpies chairman: Why football's return is so important

Loxwood chairman Mark Lacey can’t wait to see his players back on the pitch in the Magpies kit.
Loxwood FC chairman Mark LaceyLoxwood FC chairman Mark Lacey
Loxwood FC chairman Mark Lacey

Football looks like it will return as soon as April with the Southern Combination Football League announcing a Champions League style competition. And Lacey could not be more happy with the news.

It’s not about money for the club – and Lacey is just happy for the players and everyone involved at The Nest.

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He said: “To me it is very important that we get back playing, especially for players’ mental health.

“It is not a money issue at all in my view, it is solely well-being of our players and whatever happens, there will be football played at The Nest 100 per cent once it starts on March 29.

“I will make sure of that as it is so important – and as a club I will look after my players, committee and supporters as much as I can.”

Lacey believes that it should never have been in doubt that some kind of football would be played before the scheduled end of this season - and he is happy with the competition the SCFL are planning.

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He said: “I am very pleased and excited, it should have never been in question. It will be great seeing players back in a Loxwood kit on the pitch.

“I 100 per cent agree the league have organised some competitive football.

“As I said before it should have been high on the league’s agenda and they should do what they can to get it going.”

Entry to the SCFL’s competition is optional and clubs are being asked whether they want to take part before groups are drawn up to ensure all those participating get at least three or four matches.

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The group winners will go into the knockout stages and there will be a cup and medals for the winners.

Already 12 out of 14 division two clubs have indicated they are keen.

Meanwhile Loxwood members have been busy raising money for West Sussex Mind, a mental health charity, during the latest lockdown.

Lacey said: “Fundraising and running is going well we have raised £670, running 526 miles towards our 1000-mile target.”

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More than 25 players, committee members, management, supporters and Lacey himself have got involved.

Two of the players - Lewis Westlake and Sam Smith - have run from Horsham to The Nest, which is 14 miles.

Lacey added: “We have also had other clubs in out league support us as well.”