Unknown territory for Parr after ’ridiculous’ period

Fareham boss Matt Parr. Picture: Mick Young (124214-06)
Fareham boss Matt Parr. Picture: Mick Young (124214-06)
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Fareham Town manager Matt Parr reckons his side faces the worst fixture backlog of almost any other club in the country.

In the last eight weeks, the Wessex League premier division side have only played two fixtures.

And Parr believes the situation is becoming ‘ridiculous’.

‘I think it is us and one other club who have the most games still to fit in,’ said the Cams Alders boss.

‘It is becoming ridiculous and I have to admit I have never experienced anything like this.

‘We have all had spells with games called off before but never as long as this.

‘In the last eight weeks we have only played twice and it is hard to maintain the players’ interest.

‘The league have got to put the end of the season back otherwise it will be almost impossible to fit in all the games.

‘We want to be playing football but not four times a week for any length of time.

‘Players at our level find it difficult to make that much of a commitment.’

The Reds currently have 24 league matches left to play and they are still in the semi-finals of the Russell-Cotes Cup.

The postponement of the game at Folland Sports on Saturday only served to make the situation worse.

A check on the calendar shows there are just 23 slots – Saturdays and Tuesdays – left between now and the current final day of the season on Saturday, April 26.

Fourteen of the remaining games are scheduled to be played at Fareham’s Cams Alders ground, which has already proved problematic.

The pitch is on clay-based soil which means it takes the water longer to drain away – presenting the groundsman with particular headaches.

The club have recorded 24 inches 
of rain since the beginning of December.

And they believe a dry spell of at least a week may be required before a game can be staged with confidence.

Fareham have made enquiries to the Football Association (FA) – via both the Wessex League and the local representative – about the likelihood of the season being extended by a week until May 3.

The decision to extend the season is not one the league can make on their own.

They have to have the agreement of the FA, whose leagues committee meet next Thursday.

‘The weather has had a severe effect on our season and our ambitions for a top-six finish,’ said Parr.

‘Up until the break we were going well – only losing five games in the league all season.

‘It will be difficult picking that up again, particularly with all the games we have left.

‘We are supposed to be playing twice at home this week but I can’t see it happening.

‘Already we are hearing that the weather is due to close in again.’

Fareham are scheduled to welcome Lymington Town on Tuesday followed by Alresford on Thursday night.