Club academy football looks set for a full return by the end of September, it is understood, after the SFA held discussions with the Elite Heads of Academies last week.

Chiefs at a number of high-profile clubs in the country had provisional talks with the governing body in a bid to bring back football for under-11s all the way to the under-18s from the end of September. It is believed the SFA are preparing an 'Elite Academies return to football plan' that will see youngsters back playing full contact.

The news comes after the Scottish government confirmed permission for Premiership clubs to return to full and proper training ahead of the league return on August 1. A letter from one Scottish club sent to parents suggests the group hope to have a fully operational Elite Academies program back in action by 2021.

The SFA have been approached for comment by Herald and Times Sport.

Yesterday evening the SFA confirmed via the Joint Response Group with the SPFL that COVID-19 testing will continue - but only necessary once per week - as the new campaign gets underway.

Dr John MacLean, Scottish FA Medical Consultant, said: “We are pleased that Scottish Government has recognised the effort clubs have made to this point with a thorough testing regime and agree that from week beginning Monday, July 13, testing can be reduced to once-weekly in line with other sports governing bodies and with consideration to the general downward trajectory of the virus in Scotland.

“This news will be warmly received by clubs but we will ensure the stringent safety measures will remain in place.”

Last week, of 936 tests carried out among the 12 Scottish Premiership clubs, only one positive case was confirmed. Clubs hope to be able to organise pre-season friendlies against one another by this weekend, but that has not yet been agreed to by the Scots government officially.