Bridlington Town boss Brett Agnew backs NCEL's delayed restart
Bridlington Town player-boss Brett Agnew supports the NCEL’s decision to move the opening game after the lockdown back by a few days.
A league statement last week said that the games would be moved back from Saturday December 5 to the following midweek instead to allow clubs to get some training in before their resumption after the lockdown.
Agnew said: “I think it makes sense to move it from the first Saturday after the end of lockdown as you cannot go straight into a game without any training for a month.
“Ideally I would have preferred to move it to the next Saturday, December 12, to get some more training in, the proposed restart would be at home against AFC Mansfield on Tuesday December 8 which is a case of coming back with a bang as they were the form team before the lockdown.”
The league statement said: “The potential restart of the Toolstation NCEL, that was scheduled for December 5 was discussed by the league’s management committee at its November meeting.
“Club representatives expressed concern that the scheduled Saturday matches would be too soon to play after lockdown ends, due to be December 2.
“In the interests of player welfare and safety, it was proposed to postpone these matches and move them to the following midweek - this would then give players a full week to train before competitive matches resume.
“These fixtures are, of course, dependent on the lockdown ending on the currently proposed date or any further guidelines that may be introduced.”
Agnew has been in touch with players to check on them during lockdown as they have been busy doing their own fitness work during the break.
He said: “We have all been keeping in touch on the group chats and the players have been setting fitness challenges to each other during this lockdown.
“Hopefully the lockdown will be lifted by the Government on December 2 and then we can get back to training and playing football, but we cannot plan too much really at the moment until we know if that is the date we will be coming out of it.
“Hopefully we have passed the peak of the Covid-19 cases and we can get playing again as soon as possible.”
Agnew was also boosted by the news of the Government’s £14 million pledged towards non-league football teams from steps 3 to 6, which would include NCEL Premier Division promotion-chasers Bridlington Town.
He said: “I am not sure how much that will work out for all the clubs at our level but anything that we get would be a big help to us and Pete.
“When you see the money flying around in the Premier League then this amount from the Government is not that much in relation to the big leagues but any help is good.”