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Having crossed paths with COVID, Windsor boss Cooper understands suspension is for the greater good

The temporary suspension that’s been placed on non-league clubs from step 3 level down is hugely frustrating for clubs like Windsor FC, who have been battling to find their form all season.

However, manager Mark Cooper – who is recovering having contracted COVID-19 – said he now has a better understanding that the suspension is for the greater good.

From today (Thursday) non-elite clubs won’t be able to train together or play matches for a period of four weeks to try and slow the spread of the virus. And we'll have to wait and see whether sides like Windsor will be able to get back to competitive action this side of Christmas.

Windsor will be impacted more than most, however, as the Royalists have already seen their last couple of matches postponed due to their manager contracting the virus.

“I’ve not mentioned it before but I’m going through the COVID thing,” he said on Monday. “I got tested positive 10 days ago and it’s the primary reason our game was called off initially.

“When you don’t know any one who’s got it and you don’t have it yourself, you just want to carry on as normal. But when you get it, it’s a huge surprise and it does make more sense as to why the country is locking down. We must put everyone’s health first. Initially I was fine. But I had quite a difficult week last week and it hit me quite hard. There has been a slow improvement since the middle of last week, when it was very exhausting. You certainly know about it when you have it. The younger you are and the fitter you are the more you can get through it. But, once you come to my age of 45 – and I’m relatively healthy – it’s certainly not straight forward, and the older you get the more it’s going to affect you. That’s why you see so many people struggle with it as they get older.”

“This (the suspension of non-elite football for a month) is for the greater good. When there’s talk of a lockdown, it’s frustrating when it almost feels like a different world and you don’t know anyone affected by it. You just want to carry on with your football.

“But, ultimately, when the virus crosses your path or you know someone very close to you who has it, you do realise that the numbers can’t just keep going up.

“People will suffer with this illness and worse, they’ll pass away if we don’t take the necessary precautions going forward,” he added.

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