ON Tuesday, grassroots football was hit with the expected news that it would not get an exemption from the country's second lockdown, meaning it would undergo a month-long stoppage leaving children and adults with a massive void in their lives.

The Football Association comfirmed clubs in Steps 3-7 and below will not be able to train or play until Wednesday, 2 December.

Those leagues now out of action still intend to complete a full season, once play is given the green light to resume by the Government.

West Yorkshire League Premier Division side Ilkley Town believe the pause was inevitable but feel it will impact juniors more than seniors.

Chairman Richard Giles said: "We were expecting it after the Government announcement of a four-week lockdown hit at the weekend.

"It was hard to see how grassroots football would continue.

"We are disappointed that we can not carry on so it is important that we get on top of the virus and play our part in that.

"What has been clear since we started again in the summer is how important sport is to play for children as well as adults.

"It is a very strange time for them. We have had more kids playing this season because they have missed it and wanted to get back.

"The upsides are huge for children to keep active and socialise with their friends in a safe way.

"I would hope that we will come out and one of the first things they put back on is grassroots sport in an outdoor setting."

Live football has brought back some normality to everyone's weekend's over the last few months in these uncertain times.

Giles thinks that fans not being able to go support their local non-league team is another big negative to come out of the four-week break.

He added: "For a lot of our parents and children it is a bright spot in their week to come to football and to not be able to do that they will miss it.

"We benefitted when we had spectators coming to the gate. Fans could not go watch Bradford City or Guiseley like they were previously so our attendances increased by maybe double.

"We always followed the FA guidance and did as much as we were allowed to safely."

A stalemate against fellow title contenders Beeston St Anthony in the last game before lockdown, which starts today, meant Ilkley continued their unbeaten start to the season.

Previous to the 0-0 draw, Simon Armstrong's men had bounced back from the disappointment of last season's voiding by winning six matches in a row to join Field in top spot.

Giles would hate to see the 2020/21 campaign finish in the same way that its predecessor did.

"I hope that we get far enough through so the results stand and the league can be completed even if we don't play all the games.

"We wouldn’t like to have two seasons where there is no final positions and opportunity for promotion.

"That would not follow the sporting principles of benefitting when you succeed."