THE chairman of the Fife Soccer Sevens Development Association says they’re “champing at the bit” as it prepares to make its comeback this weekend.

Andi Campbell is preparing to welcome 170 teams of kids back to Pitreavie on Saturday for the first time in 13 months.

The Soccer 7s, which attracts teams from across the Kingdom, is held usually between March and November.

It can attract more than 1,500 youngsters to play but, after one week last March, it was stopped in its tracks due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

While discussions about a possible return last year didn’t materialise, the easing of restrictions in relation to kids’ sport has paved the way for the Pitreavie pitches to have football games played on them once more.

Speaking to Press Sport, Campbell said he was thrilled to see the Soccer 7s back, and that they hadleft no stone unturned to make it as safe as possible.

“We’re looking forward to it,” he explained.

“We got one week out of it at the beginning of March (last year) and that’s been it, but that’s us back as of Saturday.

“It’s going to be strange because, obviously, the Soccer 7s have got to take the precautions. All the equipment will get sanitised after every game; goals, corner flags, things like that. It puts a wee bit more onus on us to get this right.

“But we’re certainly on track to do it.

“We’ve had to look at kick-off times; when a game finishes, how long do we give them before the next team comes on? Normally it’s about five minutes but we’ve had to extend it to 15 minutes. That gives us time to get the equipment all sanitised.

“I think the first couple of weekends are going to be interesting to see how it’s all coming together but I certainly think the Soccer 7s have done as much as we could do, as in the timings of games and the sanitisation of equipment before and after every game.

“All the clubs have been informed what the SYFA (Scottish Youth Football Association) ruling is; a COVID officer’s got to be in attendance and has got to take a register of everybody that’s there.

“We’ll just have to see how it goes.”

Campbell added: “I think we’re going to kick-off with about 170 teams so we’re kicking-off with roughly the same numbers.

“I think they’re all champing at the bit to get back, which is great. To be quite honest, I thought there would’ve been less teams because of that year and a bit off; some kids maybe found something else to do, maybe they’re saying I don’t want to play football, but the uptake itself is as good as any other year.

“That’s about 13 months without any football, so we’re all champing at the bit. It’ll be great to see them all out there.”