Simon Weaver 'disappointed' but not surprised by postponement of Harrogate Town's Boxing Day fixture at Bradford City

Simon Weaver says he was "disappointed" but not surprised to see Harrogate Town's Boxing Day trip to Bradford City called off.

By Rhys Howell
Monday, 20th December 2021, 10:06 pm
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 10:14 pm
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Pictures: Getty Images
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Pictures: Getty Images

The Bantams have informed the Football League (EFL) that they are unable to fulfil this weekend's Yorkshire derby with their League Two rivals due to a Covid-19 outbreak within their camp.

As a result, the fixture will now be rearranged for a date that is still to be confirmed, affording Town an eight-day break between Tuesday's EFL Trophy tie at Tranmere Rovers and their league showdown with Mansfield on December 29.

And while the opportunity to rest might prove a blessing and enable his depleted squad to recharge their batteries over the festive period, Weaver insists that he would much rather be contesting a competitive fixture on what is traditionally one of the biggest days in the footballing calendar.

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The Sulphurites won 1-0 on their previous visit to Valley Parade

"I'm disappointed that the game is off," he told the Harrogate Advertiser.

"You always look forward to Boxing Day fixtures and, for Harrogate Town, to be playing Bradford away, it doesn't really come any bigger.

"Obviously we wanted it to go ahead but I thought that it was likely that this would happen after Bradford's game at Carlisle was postponed at the weekend.

"It's a situation that is beyond our control and if Covid and injuries mean that they don't have the 13 or 14 players available that they need, then they can't play the game."

Meanwhile, Town have been taking measures to try and minimise the chances of a coronavirus outbreak inside their own dressing room.

"We've had former York City player Andy McMillan's company Bio Decon in today (Monday)," Weaver added.

"They've decontaminated the training ground, they've been at the stadium and also sprayed the outside of the players' car, the door handles to try and help keep them as safe as they can be.

"Obviously you can catch this virus just filling up you car at a petrol station, so there's only so much you can do, but we are trying everything that we can.

"As a club, we're adhering to the rules that have been set out and we'll keep trying to do the right things."