CPD Y Rhyl 1879 manager Gareth Thomas fears the long-term damage to the grassroots game may already be done due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NWCFA Tier 4 (East) Premier Division side are having training sessions severely affected by the new local lockdown restrictions in North Wales, with first minister Mark Drakeford putting measures in place due to the rise of Covid-19 cases in the region.

This means players who live outside of Denbighshire cannot travel to Belle Vue for the newly formed club’s regular training plans, which has cast further doubt on the Football Association of Wales’ proposed plan to begin the season in the near future.

Thomas outlined his doubts regarding whether the season will take place at all, adding that the latest restrictions put in place are a “massive blow” to grassroots football in the region and beyond.

The boss lives in the Flintshire district so cannot attend the sessions himself, leaving player-coach Warren Adam in-charge of training until the measures are relaxed.

He said: “It will have a big impact. The local lads are still able to train with Warren at the ground whilst the lads from outside the area will have to maintain their own fitness.

“I think it’s a massive blow to getting the season up and running and there must be serious doubts whether anything will actually start in my opinion.

“The long-term damage has already been done as there is and has been no interest in grassroots for a while.

“How can they (FAW) make more money available for the ‘elite’ clubs when their grounds have already been made safe for the return to football?”

Thomas has been busy throughout the summer forming a competitive squad that looks more than capable of pushing for promotion to Tier 3 at the first time of asking.

Whether this squad will get the chance to do this is another matter entirely, with the prospect of football below the “elite” JD Cymru Premier looking more unrealistic with every passing day.