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Playoff clubs announce friendly after given go ahead from National League

Two playoff clubs have chosen to announce a friendly, subject to protocols, after they were given the go ahead from the National League.

Non league football is on the cusp of returning for the first time since March, with the first game given a confirmed date of Friday the 17th of July, with ties from all three divisions also being played out that weekend.

Each hosting club need to appoint a Covid-19 Officer and a Medical Officer, both must have approval from the region’s Safety Advisory Group and the National League.

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A coronavirus testing process has been developed by each club for the players and staff, and then approved by the National League Medical Officer.

Testing took place weekly for a minimum of a three-week period, though it was costly to many clubs, and this is why it’s up to the clubs to decide whether they are able to compete in them or opt out.

So far there’s been zero positive tests published in the National League. However, it’s up to each individual club whether they publish testing results. The National League isn’t publishing weekly results in the way the EFL do.

Clubs have been training within that time and are having to pay for their own coronavirus testing – thankfully with help from the Premier League who handed out £200,000 to help get the playoffs played out.

National League South side Dorking Wanderers announced on Tuesday that they would be travelling to Notts County as they prepare for the upcoming playoffs.

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It comes as a major boss to the Magpies with boss Neal Ardley had been hoping to play a warm-up game to help get the players fit, and last week it was reported the league organisation had turned down all friendly requests.

But now the National League have granted permission to play competitive friendly games, as confirmed by journalist Ollie Bayliss, although the former English Football League outfit Notts County have yet to confirm the news, but Dorking did post a tweet on Wednesday morning, before deleting it, though have kept up their Facebook post on the news.

All five of the National League play-off matches, including the much anticipated final will be held at Wembley Stadium, without fans, and will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

However, according to a statement by Chester, the league have a “desire to enable streaming of the matches given the unique nature of them being played behind closed doors”, but “no final decision has been made (in) regards streaming of the games or associated arrangements.”

At least some of the Step 2 playoffs will be ‘streamed live by the National League’: Altrincham v Chester and Havant & Waterlooville v Slough or Dartford.

These games will be ‘pay per view’. Ollie Bayliss has spoken to other Step 2 clubs who haven’t had it confirmed how their games will be shown.

Due to the current Government sporting guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, all matches will be played behind closed doors.

Vanarama National League
Friday 17th July – 7pm
Elimination Round – Match A – Boreham Wood vs FC Halifax Town

Saturday 18th July – 3pm
Elimination Round – Match B – Yeovil Town vs Barnet

Saturday 25th July 2020- 2.30pm
Semi Final – Harrogate Town vs Winner of Match A

Saturday 25th July 2020 – 5pm
Semi Final – Notts County vs Winner of Match B

2nd August 2020 – 3pm
Promotion Final – Wembley Stadium

Vanarama National League North
Sunday 19th July 2020 – 3pm
Elimination Round – Match A – Altrincham vs Chester
Elimination Round – Match B – Brackley Town vs Gateshead

Saturday 25th July 2020 – 3pm
Semi Final – York City vs Winner of Match A
Semi Final – Boston United vs Winner of Match B

1st August 2020 – 3pm
Promotion Final – Stadium of highest ranked finalist

Vanarama National League South
Sunday 19th July 2020- 3pm
Elimination Round – Match A – Slough Town vs Dartford
Elimination Round – Match B – Bath City vs Dorking Wanderers

Saturday 25th July 2020 – 3pm
Semi Final – Havant & Waterlooville vs Winner of Match A
Semi Final – Weymouth vs Winner of Match B

1st August 2020 – 3pm
Promotion Final – Stadium of highest ranked finalist

Social media users reacted after discovering that two playoff clubs announce a friendly after get given the go ahead from the National League…

Iain Campbell: If you’re wondering who they are, they are a small non league team going nowhere….Dorking are from Surrey!

Dan Geary: Dorking are a well maintained club of 20 years old who will probably give Notts a good run around

Anthony Miller: A massive well respected club with decent fans versus Notts County.

Dylan Phillips: Why would dorking travel all that way for a friendly ? ??

Luke Bott: I’m presuming they’ll do free streaming

Robin Parkes: Not THE MIGHTY Dorking Wanderers ?????

Jim Rogers: Thank you Dorking Wanderers….

David Newman: If this is true its great match practice and a chance to get the players a bit more match fit for the semi’s ?

Aaron Porter: Hopefully there’s a stream for this. Charged or not. I don’t care. I just wanna see the lads play

Stewart Chantrey: Good news. A run out.

Who do you think will win the playoffs? Do you think all Step 2 clubs should stream matches? Let us know by commenting!

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