It's full steam ahead for Brackley
It’s full steam ahead for the 2021/22 Vanarama National League North campaign for Brackley Town.
That is the view of chairman Francis Oliver as the Saints plot another promotion challenge during what everyone will be hoping will be a full campaign.
It’s been a strange year for teams at Step 2 with the last two seasons ending early due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2019/20 season was eventually decided on a points per game ratio with Brackley entering the delayed play-offs in July when they were beaten on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Gateshead at St James Park.
Another challenge looked to be on the cards in the 2020/21 campaign as Kevin Wilkin’s team recovered from a slow start to go on an unbeaten run that lifted them into the play-off places while they also enjoyed another moment in the spotlight when their 1-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers in the second round of the FA Cup was shown live on the BBC.
However, the season ultimately ended in controversy as financial help to get teams through the season without any fans in their grounds didn’t materialise and clubs eventually voted to finish the campaign early with it being declared null and void.
But, instead of sulking about another potential promotion challenge being finished, Brackley have immediately set their sights on the next campaign.
“As soon as we got the decision, I just said to Kevin that he should get his team sorted and let’s move on,” chairman Oliver said.
“We will see what is what. There will be clubs interested in some of our players and some may move on but we will look at it in the middle of April and see where we’re at and then go from there.
“We are looking forward and it is full steam ahead for next season.”
Oliver, like everyone, is hoping a full season will be possible once it kicks off on August 14.
Should the ‘roadmap’ set out by the government stay on course then fans should be allowed back in grounds for the next campaign.
And while he is hopeful of what lies ahead, there is still a bit of caution from the Saints chairman.
“I am sure there will be challenges,” he added.
“We don’t know what things will be like in October and November but at least by then we will have a lot of games under our belts.
“We will just have to see what happens but hopefully the season can start and finish with a bit of normality.”