Club chairman Francis Oliver has said that the club is ‘fired up and raring to go’ in anticipation of the National League North play-offs.
“We are not the only club involved to have to look long and hard at the arrangements necessary to participate in the play-offs,” he said. “This is a challenge on all fronts but one we are delighted to have the opportunity to embrace. Kevin and the team have earned the right to take our place in these games. It is the best way to finish the incomplete season – on the pitch. The finances are difficult but we started the season aiming for one of the precious promotion places and we look forward to the competition now to see who wins through.”
The club has had lots of planning to put in place and this continues including arrangements for weekly testing of the players and coaching staff, Covid-19 safe training and a stadium management plan. “This is an entirely new world we are entering and one we had never thought of just a few months ago,” he continued. “We have a number of submissions to make to the National League and FA to satisfy the entry criteria including around the three phases of training – small group, contact training and match preparation. This will be our third successive season of play-off action. We look forward to competing in this important round of games but at the same time the welfare of our players and staff and everyone involved is paramount.”
For the play-offs to take place, at least four of the six clubs must take part and it seems that everybody will do so. 4th placed Saints take on 7th placed finishers Gateshead at St James Park in a game to be played behind closed doors on the weekend of 18/19 July. BT Sport may stream the match – confirmation of this is awaited. Meanwhile it is hoped to provide live commentary on BBC local radio so that supporters can follow the action.