Let’s pre­vent the pile-ups

The Non-League Football Paper - - FA VASE 2ND ROUND QUALIFYING -

I HAVE some sym­pa­thy with Paul Doswell and his con­cerns about the packed sched­ule so early in the sea­son (NLP, Septem­ber 9).

Rep­re­sent­ing one of the high­est­pro­file part-time teams in Eng­land, his views are worth lis­ten­ing to. How­ever, I won­der if other teams, perhaps with longer mem­o­ries or with­out ac­cess to an ar­ti­fi­cial play­ing sur­face, feel dif­fer­ently.

Last sea­son, af­ter the worst win­ter for some time, caused a raft of post­pone­ments in the Evo-Stik North­ern Premier League.

These games were shoe­horned into the sched­ule at the end of the sea­son, and saw sit­u­a­tions where teams played three times a week, seven times in a fort­night and, on one oc­ca­sion, con­sec­u­tive days in or­der to make up fix­tures be­fore the man­dated last day of the sea­son.

The ad­van­tages of a busy pe­riod at the start of the sea­son are that the weather is gen­er­ally bet­ter for foot­ball, and pre­sum­ing they have done their pre-sea­son train­ing prop­erly, they play­ers should be fit enough to cope.

In all like­li­hood there is a mid­dle ground to be found, that avoids pile-ups and al­lows for play­ers to get proper re­cov­ery time be­tween matches. How­ever, it makes sense to do what­ever is pos­si­ble to avoid the end-of-sea­son con­ges­tion that has such a pro­found ef­fect on so many. ED TAY­LOR Bingham, Notts

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