We heard from some NCEL managers earlier on their thoughts on the NCEL season extension, now it is the turn of some NCEL Chairman and players. Some interesting thoughts, hold your breath!
First up is Glasshoughton player and TBG player of March Conor Glavin, “I feel it is probably the right decision as the weather has been horrific and the pitches have been terrible/under water for the majority of the time, but, the timing is not great.
“If it was to be extended, it should have been 2-3 months ago. Maybe from a selfish point of a view with us having the majority of our games on, it now puts us at a disadvantage with other teams around us having more time to get games in, therefore catching us. So probably right decision, very poor timing!”
Next up is Pickering Town striker Billy Logan, “I think it had to be done. It’s not fair on the lads playing 3/4 times a weeks with also full-times jobs and family.
“For me personally and I am sure other people will be in a similar position to me, I am away so on a personal note I am gutted I will be away for the final game of the season; hopefully we have promotion already!”
NCEL Division One side East Yorkshire Carnegie have not had many postponements this term and have fulfilled most of their allocated fixtures (barring the League Cup game against Grimsby Borough!). Their Chairman Dave Reader believes it should have been organised before now, “The extension should have been sorted a long time ago ourselves are not so much affected with having played 37.
“But our League Cup fixture has seen it moved now four times and albeit frustrating we had no control over any of it nor could our volunteers do anymore than we did already. Our neighbours on the other hand Hall Road have a ridiculous amount of games left and with another game postponed today they will require longer than the one week extension.
“They have a serious amount of games left and will be under immense pressure with players,volunteers and pitch to sort. The extension is great but should have been longer. Club’s have had no control over the weather and the rearranged fixtures are crammed in to April.”
Rossington Main Chairman Carl Stokes could not hide his frustration when asked for his comments, “Basically too many clubs prioritise paying players over playing surfaces. It’s too easy to call games off without any effort put in to ensure games can be played, they are too concerned as to the damage made to the pitch.
“Their have been too many free Saturday’s at the beginning of the season and two games per week should be played during the start of the season.
“Games are called off to easily by the “local Refs” who are called in by the home club and lastly, too Many worthless cup competitions are a factor of fixture congestion, so overall it’s a bad idea in my view!”
Glasshoughton striker Andy Horbury understands both sides of the extension dilemma, “I try not to get involved really but obviously from our personal perspective it would have helped us not having the extension as we look to have our games finished in time. However it’s unrealistic for players to play the amount of games some teams would have to, especially at this level. Conditions can’t be helped and it is what it is we just have to focus on the games we have to play regardless of when they are scheduled.”
Frustrated Rainworth striker Kyle Jordan commented, “Not really sure, to be honest. It’s really frustrating as I now miss the last game but looking at some of the fixture lists I guess they had no choice. It opens plenty of cans of worms though because no doubt some sides will be without players where others will have dual reg players become available etc. I definitely think sides that have required a season extension should be made to forfeit league cup ties.”
Darren Sunley, Hall Road Chairman and one of the clubs in desperate need of the extension was pleased of the announcement, “Its obviously a good idea. We need it as you can imagine. So do others, the weather has been ridiculous. I do think it should have been 2 weeks and it could have been done earlier. Seems to be a lack of sense sometimes is all I will say.”
Curtis Woodhouse’s comment was pretty blunt and to the point, but Bridlington Town Coach had a few more words for us (only just!), “I am not in favour of the extension. Personally I think it has advantages for some teams and disadvantages for others. I know the weather hasn’t helped but i dont not think the rules should be changed in my opinion.”
With holiday’s booked, Ponefract Collieries star player would have preferred it to stay the way it way but is realistic, “Think it was always gonna happen after the last couple of weeks and still think there’ll be more games called off. Would of preferred it not to be extended cause everyone involved with clubs plan holidays around the dates given for season, but you can’t change the weather so it is what it is.”
25-year-old Glasshoughton midfielder Connor Rollinson said, “I think it depends on the position your in. Obviously the clubs that have been lucky enough or in some respects willing enough to play games when the pitches aren’t particularly playable, then it doesn’t seem fair on them. For example glasshoughton have played more games then most on a surface that is extremely heavy. We played on the Saturday in the heavy conditions then on the Tuesday, whereas Campion didn’t play and you could see the difference in energy. But for the teams who haven’t managed they’ve been given a lifeline.”
Lastly, Grimsby Borough versatile Club Captain and all-round good guy Jack Debnam believes it could have been avoided with more organisation and using other local facilities, “Just think it shows the league they should organise more summer games at beginning of season. Every time we’ve had a game called off Boro have trained on 3G which is a perfect pitch but not allowed to utilize as it’s not allowed by the league.
“But then we wouldn’t be having half of this problem. Schools have had snow days but they haven’t extended due to missed learning time. I know quite a few of the lads have holidays booked/weekends away so now going to miss them in a vital part of the season. So for me it could have easily been avoided.”