Harrogate Town's Covid-19 trio set to return to training ahead of Exeter City clash

The three Harrogate Town players who have been self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 are set to return training ahead of this weekend's League Two clash with Exeter City.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 11:54 am
Brendan Kiernan in action for Harrogate Town against Exeter City earlier this season. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

Right-back Ryan Fallowfield, winger Brendan Kiernan and striker Aaron Martin were due to report back to the Sulphurites' West Yorkshire training base on Thursday morning.

The trio all returned positive test results on January 4 and missed last Saturday's trip to Cambridge United, but are now able to join in with group sessions once again.

"The three of them are due back with us on Thursday and we will assess them and make a decision on this weekend's game based on how they do in training," Town manager Simon Weaver told the Harrogate Advertiser.

Town right-back Ryan Fallowfield in action against Exeter City at St James' Park.

"Having had coronavirus myself I know how it can affect you and that it takes time to recover from, so we're not going to rush anyone. We'll be keeping a close eye on them all.

"Brendan and Aaron have told me that they've felt fine. They were both amazed that they had tested positive, so I think that they will be okay.

"Ryan was hit a bit harder and I believe he spent some time in bed, so we'll have to be careful with him."

With twice-weekly testing now mandatory for all EFL clubs, Town's players were last checked out on Tuesday ahead of their scheduled meeting with Carlisle United. All results came back negative.

"We were tested again on Tuesday. We could have waited until after the Carlisle game, but I wanted to get it done beforehand," Weaver added.

"I felt that we had a moral obligation to do so before mixing with another team and potentially putting their lads at risk.

"Even though it could have meant that we lost another three or four players for that game if results came back positive, it was still the right thing to do.

"But, the good news is that everyone tested negative, so we move on."

Assuming that it goes ahead, Saturday's match with Exeter will see Town play on their own pitch for the first time since their 1-0 defeat to Salford City last month.

The Sulphurites' initial December 29 meeting with Carlisle was abandoned after 10 minutes due to referee Martin Coy deeming the playing surface to have become unsafe, before their showdown with Cheltenham was postponed because the EnviroVent Stadium turf was frozen.

League leaders Carlisle then arrived at Wetherby Road for the second time on Tuesday, only for that rearranged fixture to be called off after a power cut left Harrogate's ground in darkness.