Gillingham Football Club have revealed that their youth team has been isolating for the past two weeks because of Covid-19.
Fans were expecting that several youngsters could have been involved in the EFL Trophy match against Cambridge United on Tuesday. They only returned to training this week, however.
The Gills were only able to name four substitutes at Cambridge, from a possible seven, as injuries and illness have hit the senior squad. The management didn't want to take any risks with any first team players in the Trophy match, with captain Kyle Dempsey and striker Dominic Samuel picking up knocks.
EFL Covid regulations meant that members of the youth team have had to stay away following a Covid-19 issue within the group. A player and one of the coaching staff are understood to have picked up the virus.
The club tweeted on Tuesday night, saying: "The players only returned today from a two week isolation period, in line with the EFL's Covid rules and regulations."
First team manager Steve Evans, speaking after the game against Cambridge, said he had hopes to play a handful of those under-18s.
He said: "They are back in their building but we couldn’t bring anyone (to Cambridge) that had been isolating for two weeks straight back in. The plan was to play three of four of them but the lads haven't been training."
The Gills first team are currently training at a separate location to the youth team so cross infection was not an issue.
The youth team's next scheduled match is at home on Saturday against Luton Town in the Youth Alliance League, South East division.