BRIGHOUSE TOWN’S season has been paused once more by the National Lockdown announced by the Prime Minster on Monday evening.
Classed as non-elite sport from Steps 3-7, Town, in step 4, will not play another league fixture in the 2020-21 season until possibly March, if at all.
They had been informed by the League’s General Manager Angie Firth only days before the announcement that there would be no fixtures until after at least January 12 owing to the alteration in Tiers. This had brought about non-travel from Tier 3 and 4 of which the Pitching-In Premier League North West Premier and Division One North West and Division One South East had crossovers.
The League management committee have meetings arranged via Zoom and they will also be inviting club representatives to sit in on some of them.
With Town still having 27 more league games to play it is looking increasingly likely that one of these meetings may in fact bring about a closure to a season that was before the latest break in late December heading for an end of May finish. Playing twice a week if a go-ahead was given ahead of Easter, then it would be an end of June finish.
Town’s manager Vill Powell to keep his players ticking over had arranged a match last Saturday at Golcar United, but frost and snow saw that called off. The two managers then looked at playing it this past Tuesday night at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium but there again a frozen pitch knocked that on the head. A possible home warm up game with Liversedge next Tuesday was also pulled following the Prime Minister’s announcement. Town’s extra training base at the West Riding County FA on the outskirts of Leeds has also been closed as a result.
In the meantime Town have re-signed experienced Doncaster-based wide player Zeph Thomas from Selby Town. Thomas left Town at the end of the 2018-19 season for Belper Town before moving to Selby for this season. It looked very much with the signing as if Powell was covering in the squad the temporary loss of Alhassane Keita who is working towards a work permit with his Leeds-based solicitor before he is allowed to play on.
Town’s management will now have to look towards notifications from the League and the FA with regards grant-aid and help all round to ensure they can keep their heads above water.
They coped very well in the first lockdown and came back strongly over the summer with the refurbishment and new kitchen at their clubhouse which has come in for praise from their local MP Craig Whittaker, who was at the December 19 game with Workington Town, and his Calderdale Council councillor daughter Sophie Whittaker who joined him, plus many others.
BRIGHOUSE TOWN Women’s 2nd round FA Cup tie at home to Newcastle United Women planned for last Sunday afternoon was postponed once the away side was placed in Tier 4 some 72 hours ahead of travelling. They were not allowed to come south into Tier 3 and the programme of ties across the country were also postponed.
The team’s director of football Colin Tomkins had, just hours ahead of the latest lockdown, not heard what plans there were from the FA for the the ties to be played.
With the Premier clubs set to come in after this round and with television to work alongside major sponsorship waiting in the wings, this is some headache for the Women’s FA to break the deadlock.
To keep his players in action manager Rob Mitchell tried to fix a league game with Bradford City for last Sunday but that fell through and he finds himself right now like the men’s team boss, Vill Powell, with both his hands tied as to when a serious ball will be kicked in anger again in the early part of 2021.