Mitch Cook: Should we look at a break?

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The recent run of bad weather brings up the question of do we need a break at this time of year?

The difficulty with that would be when you need the intermission in the play because we don’t know when the snow and ice are going to come.

This year the chilly blast has come a bit after Christmas, whereas last year it was over the Christmas period, ruling out Boxing Day fixtures and the like.

My belief is that football should probably become a sport that misses the darkest period of winter out.

It can’t be any joy at our level for people to stand and watch a game in poor weather with little or no shelter, where the facilities aren’t the best and where the pitches can’t be properly maintained.

Football should be enjoyable for people to watch, though it is obviously good when your team wins. As an experience though it can’t be the best, especially when the conditions are as they are at the moment.

There is obviously the safety aspect as well. Players have to finish work and then fly to these matches on the busy roads, which obviously isn’t ideal.

We all watch Sky TV and the top level of the game where they have the financial clout to get these games on.

Despite this, just last weekend the big Super Sunday fixture between Spurs and Manchester United was in doubt right up until just before kick-off because of the weather.

After that game many players at the top level will go away to warm-weather training, which is obviously great for them, but at many levels below that things are a little different.

Back when I played you would set off on your way to training, and because it was the days before mobile phones, we would get there and the session would have been cancelled.

Having spent a lot of my time coaching kids, especially in the school of excellence at Scarborough FC, you couldn’t teach them anything, you just spent all of your time keeping them warm.

Again, sport is there for enjoyment. If their first experience of football isn’t enjoyable then why would they go back to it?

I brought it up 15 or 20 years ago at a Football League meeting, saying that kids football should become a summer sport, we got laughed out of the meeting.

Now they are doing that at the pro clubs, they only play between March and May and from September to November. Common sense has prevailed there.

When the winter comes clubs can suffer at any level because the gates will go down. Why would you go and watch a game if you are freezing cold and you don’t enjoy it?

It is okay saying that we will do our best to get the game on, you do that and then nobody turns up to watch it, defeating the object.

Players get paid per game or per week so that the clubs wouldn’t be losing money if there was a break.

Everyone knows that it is impossible to get your team together during these freezing spells. At Bridlington Town have had training called off on the all-weather at Bishop Burton for the past three weeks, so what chance do you stand?

You have to rely on them to do their bit, but where can they go apart from the gym?

It is a difficult situation for every team at non-league level in the country, but it is one that we just have to get on with.

Maybe it is something that needs looking at and tampering with so it will make the game just that little bit more of a spectator sport, which is what we want at all levels.