Boss makes plea to extend season

Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray has called for Ryman League chiefs to extend the season.

Following the postponement of the games at Bury Town on Saturday and Kingstonian on Monday, the United boss has urged the league to use ‘common sense’ and give clubs an extra week to get all their matches completed.

“You’d like to think that the league would use their heads when it comes to making a decision over an extension,” Ray said. “I don’t see how running a further week would harm anyone.

“Yes, that would mean pushing the play-offs back a week, but I think extending the season is the only logical option really.”

United have played just 28 of their 42 Premier Division games so far, and there are just seven Saturdays between now and the scheduled end of the season on April 27. They also have at least one Sussex Senior Cup match to contend with.

Fellow strugglers Thurrock have one more league fixture to play than United, while Hampton & Richmond Borough, Kingstonian and Lowestoft Town also have 14 to go.

Unless the season is extended, United are facing up to the prospect of having to play four games in eight days on two separate occasions, and the grim weather forecast for tomorrow (Saturday) is raising questions as to whether the club might lose yet another game to the elements.

“I’m not even contemplating another one called-off,” Ray continued. “But four games is seven days is crazy; to do it twice would be truly ridiculous. It’s not fair on the players.

“Not only is it physically challenging, but it means they’ll be giving up more time for the football club; taking time off work and away from their families. We’re going to really have to use the squad to its maximum as we’re bound to pick up injuries and suspensions along the way.”