Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Season Must Be Extended : Bogie; BLUE SQUARE BET PL

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Season Must Be Extended : Bogie; BLUE SQUARE BET PL

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE BROWN

IAN BOGIE has called on the Football Conference to consider extending the season to alleviate the fixture chaos caused by the recent cold snap.

Gateshead have not played a Blue Square Bet Premier fixture since November 20, when they drew 1-1 at home with Forest Green Rovers.

They did manage to squeeze in last week's 2-2 FA Trophy first round draw against Southport, also at home.

Otherwise, though, the snow and frost have taken their toll on the fixture list.

The Tynesiders were today awaiting the go-ahead for Boxing Day's scheduled trip to York City before they are due to entertain Darlington at the International Stadium on Tuesday.

Already postponements due to the wintry weather mean Gateshead face seven games in 28 days during January.

Further upheaval will only congest the fixture list further - with Bogie urging the Conference to think about extending the season beyond its planned conclusion on April 30.

He said: "It is the same old story and as bad as I have ever known it in my years in the professional game as a player and manager. "We have already lost five games to the weather and the long-term forecast does not look too good either. We could be looking at missing eight or nine games.

"If we are hit badly over the Christmas and New Year period the league will really have to look at extending the season.

"The fixture list is already looking particularly clustered, with games on Saturday and Tuesday pretty much all the way through.

"If the weather persists we could be looking at some cases where we are playing three games a week, which is not really beneficial."

Bogie added: "It is all the more frustrating because we can train but not outdoors, on grass, where the lads want to be.

"We have been cooped up indoors in the sports hall at the International Stadium and tried to mix it up with a few sessions on the beach at Tynemouth.

"The most important thing is the fact we keep the players together and the positive is at least the injured lads have had a chance to recover. …

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