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Targeted dates for National League playoffs revealed

The targeted dates for the 2019/20 season’s National League playoffs is revealed if Altrincham‘s club statement is anything to go by.

Three divisions look set to finally play out their non league playoff fixtures after clubs voted to conclude the season based on unweighted points per game and reinstate playoffs.

The season look set to return to action in late July after Altrincham revealed the Vanarama National League North play-off campaign schedule.

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According to a club statement by Altrincham, it said the target date for the playoff eliminators is July the 18th/19th with the semi finals taking place on July the 25th/26th and the final being staged on the weekend of August the 1st/2nd.

Should all teams compete in the playoffs, this could be the structure and route to the finals:

The Eliminators – July 18/19
Boreham Wood v FC Halifax Town
Yeovil Town v Barnet
Brackley Town v Gateshead
Altrincham v Chester
Slough Town v Dartford
Bath City v Dorking Wanderers

The Semi Finals – July 25/26
Harrogate Town v Boreham Wood or FC Halifax Town
Notts County v Yeovil Town or Barnet
York City v Altrincham or Chester
Boston United v Brackley or Gateshead
Havant & Waterlooville v Slough Town or Dartford
Weymouth v Bath City or Dorking Wanderers

The three Playoff Finals has been listed to play out on August the 1st/2nd.

However, the dates for the National League’s three divisions are yet to be formally announced by the league.

Writing on Twitter, Dorking Wanderers revealed that “one of the National League’s biggest priorities is screening the games for supporters” – adding that “talks are nearly complete with BT Sport.”

Usually, BT Sport would just show the National League playoffs, but with fans still looking unable to return to matches anytime soon, the broadcaster could also televised the National League North and National League South too.

A meeting was held with the 12 competing playoff clubs and it’s been revealed that clubs will be required to develop a thorough Covid-19 risk assessment and stadium management plan in order to host matches.

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.

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

Testing would take place weekly for a minimum of a three-week period, though it would be 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.

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In a statement, Chester said: “The Board is continuing to work tirelessly on this matter and wishes to reiterate our desire to uphold the integrity of the competition and to ensure (we) have the opportunity to finish the 2019/20 season on the pitch.

“However, we cannot risk the financial security of the Club and this will be paramount to our decision.”

Brackley meanwhile said: “There are some significant challenges to overcome for us and other clubs if the play-offs are to take place, not least logistics, testing, signing players, training, the cost and so on.  We expect to be in a position to announce more details shortly.”

Most however across all divisions want to take part and are able to do so. All teams in the National League’s top division have agreed to play.

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