A LONG-established Irvine girls football team are pulling out all the stops to keep their players engaged during the long lay-off.

Clark Drive Girls FC stopped playing after the Scottish Football Association decided to call off all games indefinitely in mid-March owing to concerns over coronavirus.

This will be the first time in their 10-year history that play has been stopped and head coach Melanie McPherson hopes the girls will stay onside.

The club have teams in the U9, U11, U13 and U17 age groups, along with a recently-established ladies team.

Players’ ages range from five to 33.

Home games are played at Irvine Community Sports Club.

Melanie said: “Of course it’s disappointing that the girls can’t play at all and no games or training can take place.

“Our founder Jim Whyte will be climbing the walls as he had been in football most of his life.

“But we understand that health comes first and all sport nationally is off.”

She admits it will be difficult for players to stay focused but said: “We will send them some videos from past games on social media and will set them an art challenge by getting them to draw the club logo.

“None of them can play matches but some are lucky enough to have a garden to have a kick-about.”

She added: “They won’t have much interaction with the schools also off will be difficult but we will keep them as engaged as we possibly can.

“It will be difficult for the Sports Club with Rugby off for the season and there might not be any cricket.

“Hopefully a lot of the girls will stay interested and come back when we return.”