Harrogate Town should have some of their Covid victims back available for Barrow AFC test

Harrogate Town should have at least a couple of the five players who contracted Covid-19 earlier this month available for Saturday’s League Two showdown with Barrow.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 8:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 8:40 pm
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Picture: Matt Kirkham

This weekend’s fixture sees the Sulphurites return to action following an enforced two-week break after an outbreak of the virus forced them to postpone games against Rochdale, Crawley and Leyton Orient.

Five players tested positive, while a further five had to go into self-isolation having come into close contact with those affected, leaving the club without sufficient numbers to fulfil their matches scheduled to take place on August 10, 14 and 17.

Town are however due to return to group training on Thursday morning and Weaver says the picture at Wetherby Road is starting to look somewhat healthier.

“Things have improved over the last few days,” he told the Harrogate Advertiser.

“The players who had Covid are through the worst of it and the five who had shared cars with those lads and had to go into isolation have avoided getting it, which is a bonus.

“A couple of the lads were hardly troubled at all but two of them were hit hard. One in particular was floored by it and, at one stage, we were worried he was close to hospitalisation.

“It’s been a pretty bad time. It’s not been ideal not having all the lads together but it’s been awful knowing that some of our group have been suffering but have basically been stuck in a room all on their own and we’ve not really been able to do anything for them.

“But we are getting there now and one or two of the lads who got the virus could well be okay to start against Barrow.”

Weaver did however stress that he will only risk players on Saturday if he is convinced that they are 100 per cent ready.

“Fourteen of the 18 lads in our squad will be coming in on Thursday. The rest have another day in isolation, which means that some of the players will only have one chance to train before Saturday. Obviously that’s not ideal, but whatever happens, we’ll be able to put a strong team out against Barrow,” he added.

“It’s looking like one or two of the lads who had Covid might be able to start the game. They’re confident that they’ll be fine. They’ve been symptom-free and they tell me they feel okay.

“But, we’ll have to see how everyone does in training first. I’d only play someone if we’re sure they are okay. I’d never put anybody’s health at risk, no matter what was at stake.”

Town’s postponed fixture at Leyton Orient has been re-arranged for Tuesday August 24, 7.45pm kick-off. The Sulphurites will now visit Crawley on Tuesday September 21, 7.45pm kick-off.