Q Radio Sport
There'll be no football here for at least another month.
The Irish FA says the suspension of the game at all levels has been extended until May 31st due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Meanwhile, additional services are being provided for players with mental health concerns during the lockdown.
Here's Steven Mills, Development Manager at the Northern Ireland Football League ...
The NI Football League are pleased to provide an update on the partnership programmes that support the mental well-being of our clubs and their personnel.
We are aware of the importance of mental health at this time and the NI Football League is committed to providing continued practical support and guidance during these difficult times.
Clubs, coaches and players now have five bespoke options from respected partners to assist with mental health and wellbeing support that are immediately available to access.
Sport NI supporting Management Teams (NEW)
As part of Sport NI’s ongoing commitment to mental health and wellbeing the sports psychology team at Sport NI has recently developed a support system for our senior managers and head coaches. This provides one to one contact support which considers both the mental and lifestyle perspectives of sports team management.
Inspire Support Hub (NEW)
Sport NI has recently launched the Inspire Sports Hub to widen access to wellbeing support for sports clubs and associations across Northern Ireland. It helps provide the right help, right now, with instant online access to a range of resources that are tailored to you, as well as information and advice relating specifically to wellbeing and sport. Available from www.inspiresupporthub.org/sports
Top Form Players App (NEW)
During the Covid-19 pandemic players from the NI Football League have been offered free access to this football psychology App. The App supports the development of positive mental health for successful sporting performance and personal wellbeing. Available from topform.uscreen.io
Through the continued support of Sport NI, the player welfare programme with mental health and addiction charity Sporting Chance continues to be in place for NIFL clubs. The partnership aims to support the well-being of our clubs, players and personnel and includes counselling and a referral system with team workshops soon to be available online. Available from nifootballleague.com/sporting-chance
The Sports Chaplain is increasingly becoming part and parcel of club life across the NI Football League, and sport as a whole. The Chaplain’s work is primarily aimed at the care and welfare of players and staff but also at the wider community of people within the club including supporters and families of players and staff. Available from nifootballleague.com/chaplaincy
Please note the above programmes are all currently available to club personnel but clubs availing of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme should be mindful of guidelines relating to any activity prescribed by an employer.
NIFL also has financial advice for clubs during the coronavirus crisis:
NEWS | The NI Football League is aware of the challenges faced by member clubs due to the COVID-19 pandemic - this guide aims to signpost clubs to potential support during this difficult period.https://t.co/0G4tyvI7Ip— NI Football League (@OfficialNIFL) April 26, 2020
Meanwhile, the NIFL Covid-19 steering group has met to discuss the latest developments:
⚽️ Update: The Northern Ireland Football League says it remains determined to complete the current season.— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) April 28, 2020
The game at all levels here is suspended until at least May 31st.
NIFL says clubs will discuss "the next steps" on Monday May 11th.
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/YDDQNYVh7k