Football

Non League Gets Start Date

FA confirms plans to start season in September

The FA have confirmed that the 2020/21 season will begin in September. With plans to start Step 3/4 (Stocksbridge’s level) on 19th September. Also provisional dates have been released for the FA Cup and FA Trophy as well

Here is the statement released by the FA earlier today.

From July 31st, teams can start competitive training with overall group sizes of up to 30 people. The NCEL and NPL, who both have to issue constitutions, will no doubt issue more advice, but the FA have said that clubs can begin playing pre-season fixtures in August and even hold festivals.

Then in September, leagues and FA competitions will commence. Whilst this is great news for everyone involved in the game, clubs face huge challenges in the next four weeks to be ready for the new season.

The first team started training this past week and it still gives the club around 8 weeks to be ready for the news season.. But the safety element of hosting matches is one issue as clubs will have to make sure their grounds and clubhouses meet social-distancing. It is also unclear how many spectators will be allowed to attend matches.

There is still a lot of questions to be answered. Most clubs are run by the at risk groups, so that’s one concern plus at moment there is no car sharing and limited use of dressing rooms. Plus most clubs need fans so while it is a step in the right direction, it is still not 100% set in stone. Hopefully over coming week the NPL will release more details.

The FA will publish league allocations for non-league steps 3-7 next week.‬‪That’s when we’ll find out if Bury AFC & Isle Of Man have been accepted.‬‪Sideways & downards movement between leagues is also possible but no promotions. ‬Planned FA Cup, Trophy & Vase dates:

FA Cup

  • Extra Preliminary Round: Tues 1st September
  • Preliminary Round: Sat 12th September
  • 1st Qualifying Round: Tues 22nd September

FA Trophy

  • 1st Qualifying Round: Sat 26th September
  • 2nd Qualifying Round: Sat 17th October

FA Vase

  • 1st Qualifying Round: Sat 19th September
  • 2nd Qualifying Round: Sat 10th October
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