Ilford manager wants fixture re-think

Boss Walton calls for change

ILFORD boss Colin Walton has called on the Football Association to overhaul the fixture programme in future seasons, after another weekend of Ryman North First Division action was wiped out by the snow.

Ilford have not played since the 3-0 defeat to Ware on November 24 and with temperatures set to plummet again at the end of the week, Saturday’s trip to Brentwood Town is in doubt.

The Foxes must balance their league campaign alongside five cup competitions this year, with four of them played at the start of the season and manager Walton would like to see the competitions spread more evenly throughout the season in future years.

“I would like the league to be more creative with the fixtures,” he said.

“We play all the cup games in the first two months of the season, we squeeze so many in, but if you go out of the cups then you have all these spare weeks with no game. It seems strange.

“The League Cup starts in the new year and if we had some of the other competitions played in the final third of the season, then it would give us something to look forward to and give us time to play more league games earlier on.

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“We had our strongest team out for the FA Cup and FA Trophy, but you can’t keep picking your strongest side every three days, so some of the other competitions suffer.

“We went out of the FA Trophy to Carshalton playing our strongest side and three days later we’re back playing in the league against Harlow.

“The players were still disappointed with going out of the Trophy, so it’s hard for them to motivate themselves and fully concentrate on winning the next game.”

The bad weather prevented training as well as matches going ahead last week, but Ilford have been able to resume preparations as normal this week ahead of scheduled trips to Brentwood and Harlow Town in the next seven days – weather permitting of course.

Walton is happy that his side have trained well and feels they will be focused when the next game comes along.

“Last week we couldn’t really do anything except look at the snow,” said the Ilford boss.

“But we trained on Tuesday and we’ll train again on Thursday and possibly Saturday if the game’s off.

“We just have to keep the hard work going in training.

“We had a good session on Tuesday, we have the advantage of the track at Cricklefield, so we did a lot of running.

“There’s not much planning to be done, because the squad will be the same as the one we named two weeks ago.

“If it’s not then players will start asking why, because it’s not as if they could have done anything wrong in that time to then be out of the original squad.

“Unless someone has been awful in training we’ll pick the same side.”