Brackley's promotion dream is still alive

Brackley Town manager Kevin WilkinBrackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin
Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin
Brackley Town’s promotion dream remains alive after National League clubs voted in favour of the ordinary resolution, which has seen the league tables finalised on an unweighted points per game basis.

It has resulted in Barrow being crowned champions of the National League while King’s Lynn Town and Wealdstone have claimed the National League North and South titles respectively to seal automatic promotion.

The ordinary resolution means that the play-offs in all three divisions will now proceed, subject to the competition rules and the applicable government guidance on the phased return of elite sport.

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And that’s good news for Kevin Wilkin’s Saints who ultimately finished in fourth place in National League North.

The play-offs are expected to take place at some stage in July and Brackley, who finished fourth in the table under the unweighted points-per-game methodology, will host Gateshead, who finished seventh, in their first game.

The winners face a trip to Boston United, who finished the season in third place, in the semi-finals.

Speaking before the results of the club’s votes were announced, Wilkin said: “From my point of view as the manager, to have the chance and the opportunity to potentially play and have a promotion place at stake is encouraging.

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“We have been so long without football. Everyone puts in a lot of time and effort and it was taken away from us.

“It’s just encouraging that there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

“Now, all of a sudden, there is a bit of an about turn that it could happen and it is exciting. I am certainly dying to take a chance in the play-offs if at all possible.”

Brackley, meanwhile, have received a further boost after they confirmed they have been awarded a £1,500 grant from the Pitch Preparation Fund.

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The fund was set up by the Premier League, the FA and the government’s Football Foundation in support of the game, which is currently facing unprecedented challenges because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund is providing grants to clubs that have lost out on normal revenue streams during this difficult period.

The funding will enable the club to prepare their pitches so that they are match-fit for when it is safe to play football again.

Chairman Francis Oliver said: “This is great news and comes at an important time for the club as we begin the re-build of our clubhouse after last year’s fire.

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“The grant will support our pitch maintenance work that is so important in ensuring a top quality surface once we begin playing again.

“I am grateful to the Football Foundation for this further support at this time."