THE 1874 COLUMN – by Matt Waters

THE further suspension of the North West Counties season has landed more uncertainty on how the season will finish as the FA have seemingly ruled that the season will not be extended.

Our co-manager Wayne Goodison told me he is finding the lack of clarity from the FA “draining.”

“It’s quite draining and that might sound pretentious with everything else that is going one, but there’s so much confusion,” he said.

“It’s about people’s health and we have to abide by what the league tells us because the FA aren’t going to make any quick decisions, they never have done albeit they make hasty ones.

“The difficulty is that we want to do the right thing for the players.

If it’s going to be stop-start then how can we expect the players to always be 100 per cent match fit and not get injuries which could keep them off work?

“What we need now is scenario planning so we can look after our players better.”

However, Goodison believes players physical condition is not the only concern as their mental health is just as important.

“We all invest a lot of our time and mental effort into this season – more than others – and as a manager, you have to plan sessions in a way where our players can find them a mental release.

“Players and managers have found this tough as we all like routine and it’s impossible to get that in a season which is all over the place.

“I’ve spoken to a few players who have been struggling. It’s hard to plan for anything when we don’t know how it will return.

“What we do know is that we have to prepare for our game in the FA Vase against West Auckland.”

Last week it was revealed that the only funding that is available for clubs at this level is loans and Goodison believes it’s insufficient and the football pyramid inexistent.

“The elite as they are called are playing,” he said.

“They’re arguing about the money they are getting; they’re moaning about how many fans they can have in and all we can get is a loan.

“Why on earth would we want a loan? It’s a carried over debt. That money will never filter down and maybe we should restructure between ourselves.

“We need to stick together but unfortunately some clubs will always want more.

“You’re never going to please everyone and we’ll abide by what the governing bodies are doing, especially the North West Counties.

Ahead of the weekend’s game against West Auckland, Wayne revealed that he is very happy with the players’ attitude during lockdown.

“We’ve seen a lot of the work they have done through the player trackers they use and we’re very happy with them,” he said.

“It’s hard for all clubs to get their players ready after a month out.

“We’re going to train on Thursday and that’ll be a mixture of some tactical and ball work and hopefully, we can get the result we want.”