ILKLEY Town have been able to take the first steps to getting back to the game we all love.

Simon Armstrong’s senior team have started their pre season training, all be it by adhering to government and Football Association guidance.

The sessions are non-contact with social distancing, and participants must stay in a bubble of no more than six.

For each bubble, there is a high level of coach to player ratio, with one trainer to every five players.

That has not stopped the Bah t’atters though, who are determined to complete their unfinished business from last season.

The FA expunged and voided the 2019/20 campaign three quarters of the way through, when Ilkley were flying high on all fronts.

The West Yorkshire League Premier Division side were on course to have their best ever finish with promotion and cup success in their sights.

Sitting second in the top five, who can apply to go up into Step Six, behind runaway leaders Beeston St Anthony and also in a couple of semi finals.

Town manager Armstrong believes his team, which remains practically unchanged, are raring to go and wants to go that step further to capture the league title.

He added: “The senior players have been top class.

"They have returned with extra motivation from the premature finish to last season and unable to complete their challenge for silverware and promotion.

"All of our players from last season have returned and we have attracted some new players as well.

"That will increase the competition for places which can only help us step up from last season.”

The first group to return was the AW Elite Football Centre who have now been running social distance skills training sessions for junior players for a few weeks.

The sessions follow the same restrictions as the seniors and uptake has been high with over 200 children involved.

Town football development officer Sam Dexter says the feedback has been excellent and holiday camps are on their way soon.

He added: “We have had to adapt the football training to meet government and FA guidance.

"The coaches have been brilliant, creating enjoyable sessions for the children.

"It's not straightforward but with some careful planning we have made it work.

"The children have enjoyed the physical exercise as well as the social benefits from a group activity.

"We are continuing with the skills sessions over the summer and will be adding holiday camps which will be run for a full day."

With the government announcing last week the return of recreational team sports, it is expected that the FA will issue updated guidance.

This may allow the return of friendly games which will enhance the club's preparations for the new season even further.