RHUDDLAN Town manager Keiran Evans has called on the Football Association of Wales to relax tier criteria and allow the grassroots game to “get back on its feet”.

With no competitive football being played below the top-two tiers of the Welsh domestic system this season due to the coronavirus pandemic, clubs across the country are facing an uncertain future despite the improving case numbers and vaccine roll-outs.

This will hopefully come with the 2021/22 campaign starting on time, which will be a welcome relief to Evans and other managers looking to keep players interested in the coming months.

He said: “I think this lockdown especially, has really taken its toll on a few, myself included. We all take the game for granted, Saturdays are meant for football, so when that's been taken away for several months it can hit you like a ton of bricks.

“I honestly believe it will benefit a lot more clubs and we may see a lot more individuals wanting to play football because they haven't been allowed to do anything, having been stuck at home for so long. So once the restrictions have been removed more people might want to get involved.”

Evans is hoping the upcoming season is as normal as can possibly be, although nothing is guaranteed in the current climate. However, the Town boss wants some leniency from the FAW when it comes to tier criteria next season due to the significant financial hardship teams are currently facing with a lack of revenue over the last year.

“I just hope there is more guidance from the Welsh FA as the local league authorities were left in the dark in regards to the cancelling of the leagues,” added Evans.

“A lot of people were pushing for answers, but their hands were tied due to a lack of organisation from above. The main thing is not to rush into start dates etc, and I believe criteria should be scrapped for at least 18 months to let clubs get their feet back on the ground. Whether that happens, time will tell.

“One thing for certain is the light at the end of the tunnel. I don't believe it will be too long away before we can be back training and eventually playing again in competitive matches. One thing for certain is we must savour every single moment.”