GRASSROOTS sports clubs are facing huge challenges during the Coronavirus pandemic but “We’re up for it” say Workington AFC.

The latest Covid-19 restrictions revealed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday have led to a decision by The FA to suspend all non-elite football until further notice.

David Bowden officially took over the chairmanship at Workington’s beloved Reds just days prior, and although the situation is challenging, he says the club is up for the test.

“We will start up again at some point this year all we can do now is make sure we’re in the best position to recover the position we had in the league.”

Mr Bowden was a director at Reds before stepping into the more senior position of chairman and he is proud to do so having seen the club's resilience throughout the pandemic.

"Richard Lewthwaite and Simon Collins have set about the foundation work with real energy in a very small space of time."

Frequent game cancellations and pauses to the season have been troubling for non-league clubs.

Mr Bowden said: "I've been impressed throughout the club at how professional everyone has been. It shows how important volunteers are, they really are rallying behind us, it's when the chips are down that people rise to the top.

"I'm not a big fan of the title 'chairman', it's just a job within the club, it's no more important than that."

"We all have a role to play. My role is really no more important than anyone else's."

Workington AFC are hoping for a more positive centenary season.

Mr Bowden said: "It is 100 years since the club was formed. I'll bet in those 100 years it's never face anything like this before. It lets everyone know just how important the club is."

During the first wave of Coronavirus, Workington AFC held two fundraisers, a virtual event recreating its most famous clash against Manchester United and the Save Shankly Reds campaign. The generosity of fans during both fundraisers has set Workington up for a third lockdown.

Mr Bowden said: "We've seen over the last year just how important the fans are to the club.

"What those initial fundraisers gave us was stability but we still have to have a financial plan that works in a very difficult time."