WELSH football will be impacted by ongoing lockdown restrictions for years to come.

Guilsfield Football Club manager Nathan Leonard has warned the Welsh Government’s decision to delay the start of the football season will lead to a mass loss of clubs and players.

The Oswestry-based manager was joined by Berriew Football Club manager David Jones in calling on the Welsh Government to allow the resumption of football leagues below Cymru Premier level.

Leonard said: “It’s hard to take when so many teams close to home are playing and enjoying that match day feeling. Its disheartening to say the least.

“I cant get my head around the whole thing and to say I’m frustrated is an understatement.

“I’ve just seen on social media that people in Liverpool can go and watch AFC Liverpool but across Wales teams in tier two and below cannot even play a friendly behind closed doors.

“Liverpool is a city with a higher number of cases than most areas are still allowed to crack on with outdoor sport and good on them, we can’t let the virus take over our lives and just stop everything.”

Leonard said it was time for football to return and insisted it could be carried out safely with social distancing enforced at grounds.

He said: “People in Wales need football back now, they deserve to have that release whether that be as a player, committee member or supporter.

“If people are vulnerable and worried then stay at home, simple. I’m sorry if that sounds blunt but we really should be playing now.

“Players are leaving to play in England and Welsh football will be a lot weaker because of the lack of decisive decisions made by the powers that be.

“Clubs will fold and this will hit Welsh football hard, not just now but for two or three years. It’s time to act and get the ball rolling.

“It does not make sense how it’s okay for the Cymru Premier to be playing and not other leagues. Let’s get Welsh football going again in a safe environment.”

Meanwhile Berriew manager Jones described the current situation as “beyond ridiculous”.

He said: “ It is beyond ridiculous that you can go to the pub, cinema, restaurant and other indoor venues yet you can’t play football outdoors.

“Particularly when you consider a few miles down the road over the border the likes of St Martins, Ellesmere, Haughmond and Wem are all playing in their league and with supporters attending.”

Jones added: “Having attended games in Shropshire in the last few weeks, unsurprisingly given the number of spectators that attended, social distancing is easily achievable around a football pitch with track and trace mandatory on entry.”