MEMBERS OF the Pitching In Northern Premier League divisions received on Tuesday afternoon a communicae from the General Manager Angie Firth outlining what could be happening if the Government does end the lockdown on Wednesday, December 2.
It reads:`Once the lockdown ends on December 2 we will look to resume fixtures week commencing December, 7 allowing a week for training to take place. However, any clubs wishing to resume on December 5 and utilise the Saturday will be permitted to do so. Please just let me (Angie Firth) know once you have confirmed with the opposition.
All three leagues at the Alliance meeting on November 9 made it clear that the current spectator capacity figures for Steps 3 and 4 of 600 and 400 respectively must be allowed to continue from December 5 and the FA are in discussion with the DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) on this matter.
Following discussion with the Alliance, the season has been extended to Saturday, May 22, 2021. The Play- Off semi-finals will take place on Tuesday, May 25, the Division One Finals on Saturday, May 29 (Brighouse Town’s division in the North West) and the Premier Division final on Monday, May 31. The fixtures lost during the latest lockdown will be re-scheduled for the 08th/11th/15th and 18th of May. The final day fixtures from the original date of May 8 will be moved to Saturday, May 22, so your opposition for the last game of the season will remain as that’.
Firth has also said that this time in lockdown 2 there will be no financial assistance for Step3 and Step 4 clubs as was the case in the first lockdown which commenced on March 23.
Town’s manager Vill Powell, as his assistant Stacy Reed spelled out last week in the Echo, is keen for a warm up game and maybe another in the following week before resuming on the 12th away to Mossley. Powell has spoke with Thackley about visiting the Yorkshire Payments Stadium on December 5 and also to Silsden about visiting them on Tuesday, December 8.
“We really need to be up to speed again before resuming the league programme and I know many of my contemporaries feel the same way,” said Powell.
In the week leading up to the lockdown day of Thursday, November 5, Pontefract Collieries beat Pickering Town 3-2 and that sent Town down two places in the table to second from bottom ahead of Ossett United. Each game for Town is now like a cup tie and is a must win if they are t climb the table and look towards those important dates in May.
In the meantime, recent fullback recruit Jacob Kelly, has revealed he is looking towards a football scholarship in the United States in 2021. The former Sheffield Utd and Huddersfield Town academy prospect has aired this with his manager but when Powell sees that former FC Halifax Town wide player Ousman Cham, who had landed one with a Carolina college before the March lockdown and hasn’t flown across the Atlantic yet, he wonders if Rastrick-based Kelly will get there in the early months of the new year with the covid-19 restrictions.