Stop-start nature of season will lead to more injuries, Gainsborough Trinity boss Curtis Woodhouse says

Gainsborough Trinity are unlikely to return to action before Christmas.

The Northern Premier League announced this week that all matches up to and including December 19 have been postponed.

The Trident Leagues - the NPL, Southern League and Isthmian League - voted in favour of continuing to postpone the season due to the Government's new tiering system.

Clubs in tier three - including Trinity - were not allowed to welcome fans back into their stadiums, which would mean operating at a loss.

Concerns about income, and the spread of Covid, saw clubs vote in favour of keeping the campaign on hold.

An NPL statement read: "Following on from the announcement last week, about the Trident Leagues and its clubs voting to continue the season pause, the NPL confirmed that all league games on December 5 and 12 had been postponed, and this has now been extended until at least December 19.

"However, please note that if in the interim, the Government make any changes to the current Tier restrictions that allows the return of fans to all NPL fixtures, the league will approve the reinstatement of any scheduled matches where both clubs are in agreement."

The Holy Blues were expecting to face FC United of Manchester this weekend and Morpeth next Saturday, but their next contest could well be Boxing Day's Lincolnshire derby against Grantham Town at the Northolme.

Boss Curtis Woodhouse has had his players training four times a week during lockdown in a bid to make sure they're in top form when football can resume.

Although happy his squad appear to have overcome a series of injuries, he fears that the stop-start nature of this season will continue to take its toll.

Woodhouse said: "I rang around a few friends in the management world to see if i was doing anything wrong - working them too hard.

"But it just seems to be across all levels of football. The amount of injuries to all players has been higher than it's ever been.

"I think it's the initial lockdown and lads going so long without playing.

"We had a bit of a rushed pre-season and then you're in playing.

"Everyone's getting the same injuries."