Arthurlie boss George Fotheringham says the club are trying to deal with the coronavirus crisis on a ‘day-to-day’ basis after the SJFA’s decision to indefinitely suspend all football across the country.

Following the Scottish government’s call to ban all public gatherings of more than 500 people and with the Covid-19 pandemic escalating, the authorities in Scottish football met on Friday afternoon before coming to the decision to put a halt to all matches at all levels.

And with the SJFA affiliated and closely linked to the SFA, the West Region league has followed suit with the game’s most senior league by temporarily calling off all matches.

“We’re in the same boat as clubs across the country in that we’re just following the advice and really taking it day-to-day at the moment,” Fotheringham said.

“In terms of that side of things, I’m just following the advice from the club who are getting it from the league.

“From a purely footballing point of view, a few weeks off for the boys would actually help them. Of course we’d have liked the break to come under normal circumstances having finished the season, but we have to roll with the current situation.

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“We didn’t bring the boys in for training on Saturday as we thought it would be best to assess the situation and see if there is was any further advice. The advice now is not to train in groups so we will see how we’re able to cope with that. We were also down to the bare bones with a number of injuries so the boys got a rest and chance to recuperate safely.

“It’s important all the boys keep themselves ticking over as it could be a number of weeks or months before we even get another training session.

“We of course want to be playing football, as any club across the country would, but if this suspension is for the best and will help prevent the spread of the virus then we’re all for that.

“This is something none of us have had to deal with before so we don’t really know the best way to go about things and what will work.”

Looking ahead to potentially playing out the remainder of this campaign as well as casting an eye further forward to next season, the new Lie boss, along with his management team, have been working hard behind the scenes in order to bolster a severely depleted squad.

Fotheringham added: “Before all this happened, we actually managed to extend Conor Bradley and Andrew McLaughlin’s deals at the club until 2021.

“We’re really over the moon to sign these two boys up and they will play a big part for us next season.

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“Conor is a young left-back with so much potential. He’s came on so much as a player and an individual since we took over at the start of the year so we’re excited to sign him up. He’s been buzzing around training and enjoying the set up so it’s great to have him extend his time here. He’s definitely one for the future.

“Andrew is in the same boat in terms of improving and showing his potential since we took over. He joined us from Barrhead U21s and has been superb since.

“I have also been in talks with a number of players over the last week which could lead to some exciting signings. It’s a bit early at this stage to discuss anything further, but there will be some big names coming to Arthurlie soon. We’re all working hard to freshen it up for next season.”

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