Harrogate Town: Weaver calls for a seasonal restructure

FORGET your shovels, manager Simon Weaver admits hot water-bottles would be more appropriate to save tonight's proposed Blue Square North hosting of Corby Town.

And, with yet another match almost certain to be postponed, the Town boss admits a new summer season has to be considered.

Forecast Harrogate temperatures of minus nine degrees celsius mean Town's latest home game is long odds-on to be postponed tonight meaning another fixture to add to the league's increasing backlog.

Town are then set to host local rivals Guiseley on Boxing Day but even that game could be doubtful given the forecast and fed up Weaver admits swapping a summer break for a winter one has to be an option.

Crippling

"When you have consecutive winters like this it begs the question, why don't we have a season from February to September?" said Weaver.

"That's just thinking off the top of my head but at least then you wouldn't get games called off.

"I'm sure the powers that be will decide something but at the moment it's crippling the game."

Assessing the prospects of tonight's clash going ahead, the Town boss added: "We're waiting on an official inspection at 12 noon Tuesday but we've had a look and it's like concrete on the pitch.

"Never mind shovels, we'd need hot water bottles but there's nothing you can do.

"Looking at the forecast, it's not going to lift and I'm just trying to find somewhere for training. It's a nightmare getting somewhere to be honest."

Weaver and Town had been using Wetherby High School's astro-turf pitch of late while the Harrogate manager was pleased to at least secure two-hours training on a 3G pitch in Doncaster on Saturday.

And Town are anything but alone with their big freeze frustrations with AFC Emley suffering just about the worst of it in the lower leagues.

The Pewits have played just 14 games in Division One of the NCE League so far with earlier runs in the FA Vase, FA Cup and Sheffield and Hallamshire Cup meaning a backlog towards the end of the season is guaranteed.

Emley are next due in action on Monday at home to Hemsworth Miners Welfare but chairman Graham Roys says with The Welfare Ground still under several inches of snow that game is already doubtful but for a sudden thaw.

The chairman admits his side will face a gruelling run-in to fulfil their fixtures and also feels for new manager Darren Hepworth who replaced outgoing boss Darren Bland earlier this month but has still only taken one game in charge!

Bland left the club to join Sheffield United's coaching staff and Roys said: "We've changed our manager in the last few weeks but he's still only had one game! It's not the start he wanted!

"We're struggling to play at the moment, we didn't play on Saturday and we're meant to be playing next on the Monday after Boxing Day but that already looks doubtful. The snow is still six inches deep.

"We haven't had it this bad before and while it was bad last year it wasn't as bad as this.

"It's also come too soon this year."

Also due in action this evening are Leeds Carnegie at Askern Villa in the County Cup though clearly that game is also likely to be off.

Lee Molyneux

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