COLWYN Bay manager Craig Hogg has been reflecting on the sorry state of affairs surrounding the grassroots game in North Wales after local lockdown measures were introduced.

The Seagulls’ have been forced to suspend training activities due to a large number of their squad not residing in Conwy county, which brings an end to months of hard work ahead of a season start date that appears to be more uncertain than ever.

Hogg outlined his frustrations with a lack of clarity from the Football Association of Wales and the Welsh Government regarding this issue, which is made all the harder to stomach considering all levels of football in England have now resumed, some even allowing fans in attendance.

He said: “Some clubs have squads who live ten minutes away from their ground so the impact for them is less, but we have a squad built from across North Wales and the North West of England and so training for us as a squad wouldn’t be feasible or legal under the current measures until local lockdown ends.

“We have never been given written confirmation of a start date and I can’t see that happening for some time again now, because of the current national health picture and the Welsh Government’s differing approach to English outdoor spectator sport.

“Welsh Government would argue that they are acting in the best interests of the nation’s health and I understand that. But there appears to be little to no desire to give other tiers below the Cymru Premier the Elite Athlete Status or some increase on the 30-person rule, allowing us to start competitive football below our national league.”

“People are starting to feel that our elected officials are failing us, as a result of not seeing how important, legitimate and professional the game is for many thousands of people below Tier 1.

“You only have to look at the reaction of domestic Welsh football fans to games being played in England at similar levels in front of crowds, to understand why so people may feel the way they do at the moment.”

Hogg has felt the impact of player frustrations, with a number of his squad opting for moves elsewhere over the last week, including talented full-back Cai Owen, who has signed for Caernarfon Town.

This has the potential to severely disrupt their expected JD Cymru North title bid if the season eventually does begin, but the boss did not blame anyone for wanting to play football when they are permitted to do so either in Wales’ top-flight or in the English structure.

“For us that is players leaving and we are excepting a number of our players to move clubs before the transfer window closes and some have already this week,” added Hogg.

“But we don’t blame any player who leaves our club within the current state of limbo and we support them if they feel the need to do so.

“The players are the real victims in all this, and I think there’s been massive oversight on that, when decisions have been made at state level to not give us the necessary status needed to play.

“We are potentially going to have hundreds and hundreds of more young men throughout Wales having to deal with a range of mental-health-related issues because of our football inactivity and uncertainty.”