FC Halifax Town: Shaymen’s wait for a decision over play-offs could finally be nearing an end

FC Halifax Town’s wait for a decision over the National League play-offs appears to be nearing an end.

Thursday, 11th June 2020, 8:30 am
Football - FC Halifax Town v Woking at the MBI Shay Stadium. Town Manager Pete Wild.

The Shaymen could be on the verge of discovering if they will take part in any play-offs, with a National League meeting due to take place today (Thursday).

It comes after the Football League decided this week there would be promotion and relegation from League Two.

That means there will be two promotion places available from the National League, but it has yet to be agreed how they will be decided.

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The options appear to be promoting the top two, Barrow and Harrogate, or using a points-per-game ratio to decide the final league standings and then staging the play-offs.

When asked whether the Football League’s decision had made him more confident that the National League play-offs would take place, Town boss Pete Wild said: “Yeah, but costings of testing (for COVID-19) and who’s going to pay for them etc is going to be a big thing.

”That’s a massive point that needs discussing, as well as when next season’s going to start.

”Everybody in the (Football) League knows (what’s going to happen) now so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t.

”We need to know if there’s play-offs, we need to know when they’ll be because the League Two play-offs (dates) have already been decided.

”We need to know dates, times and venues, but this should have all been done weeks ago.”

Another issue for Halifax could be the availability of loanee Devante Rodney, who will leave Salford when his contract expires this month.

On the possibility of that happening before the play-offs take place, Wild said: “They possibly could and that’s something we’ll need to discuss with Salford, with Devante and see what happens.

”Nobody expected this to go into the latter stages of June or July but there’s nothing we can do until we know an answer, so it’s not as if we could’ve done anything to deal with it.”

Wild is also wary of his players’ lack of match fitness, and subsequent risk of injuries, with Town out of action since the 1-0 defeat to Ebbsfleet on March 14.

”It’s a massive concern for us,” he said. “We’d like to think the players have kept themselves where they need to be.

”When they come back we’ll know within three minutes if they’ve done that or not, and we’ll shape our plan accordingly.

”But we’ve put every measure in place to ensure they come back in the right shape ready to play.

”We’ll have to do friendlies to get ourselves ready, however, that’s difficult because most teams are done for the year.

”You’re looking at teams in the play-offs or teams that are local to us, maybe Championship clubs that might give us a game.

”We’ve got lots of plans in place but we can’t do anything until somebody tells us what we’re going to be doing.”

Wild’s only absentee as things stand would be defender Michael Duckworth, who is recovering from a shoulder injury.

”He’s still doing his rehab,” added Wild. “He’s back striking the ball but he’s more a pre-season than a play-off one.”