Pools boss Craig Hignett has given his reaction to the fixture release in a special blog for fans.
Hello all, I just thought I would draft a bonus Blog to give you all my thoughts after the fixtures for 2019/20 were confirmed this afternoon.
There’s always great excitement around Fixture Release Day and we’re the same at the training ground – waiting patiently for the announcement!
It’s helpful, of course, when the fixtures do get unveiled because that gives us the opportunity to start more in-depth planning around our schedule for the campaign.
I am really happy that we’re starting and finishing on home soil – I think any club would ask for that if they had the choice so I don’t think we can complain about that, especially as it hasn’t happened for us too many times over recent years apparently.
Sutton United are a good opponent to kick-off with. They have been consistent performers over a number of season and have been in and around the play-off positions in the National League so it’s a difficult start for us.
It will be a good one for Gime Toure obviously having just joined us from Sutton – I am sure that was one of the fixtures that he will have been looking out for this afternoon and hopefully he can get off to a flyer for us against them.
I know it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things because you have to play everyone twice but it does look a decent start for us, albeit as busy as we had expected.
We always knew that during the first six weeks or so of the new season we play pretty much a quarter of the games so it’s hectic and it’s busy but it’s the same for everyone and by and large we’ll be playing in good weather so it’s not too bad.
I think it’s helpful that we get one of our longest away trips in Torquay done and dusted fairly early on and glancing at August it would seem pretty kind in terms of travelling – well, we haven’t got too many mammoth trips that month apart from to Plainmoor so it’s a bonus.
We were starting to fear the worst a little in terms of travelling over the Christmas period but thankfully we’ve been given Harrogate Town for our Boxing Day and New Year double header which is great news for us.
Harrogate are a good team who had an excellent first season in the National League in 2018/19 so we know it will be two tough games but the short travelling distance will hopefully make for two big crowds and brilliant atmospheres at both.
I know our fans will travel all over in great numbers but it certainly helps to be relatively close over Christmas so with three home games in the mix and a trip to Harrogate it’s worked out pretty well. I am sure we will create a fantastic atmosphere and get a big crowd on New Year’s Day – when you think of the noise at some of the games towards the end of last season it’s makes you really excited about games like that.
Overall I think we have to be pretty pleased with the way the fixtures have come out and it’s another of the boxes ticked as we move closer to the big kick-off!