LLANDUDNO manager Sean Eardley said they “count themselves lucky” to be getting any competitive football this season.

The JD Cymru North side are set to start a gruelling 15-game campaign over a short space of time next month providing COVID-19 cases across the country continue to decrease. This would give the top two tiers of the Welsh domestic pyramid “elite athlete” status, with the rest having the irrespective campaigns ended before they began.

Eardley is fully aware of how fortunate the club is to have something to look forward to, praising his playing staff for their patience and perseverance during such an uncertain time.

He said: “The announcement on a start date certainly gave everyone a boost, and clarity more than anything as it’s been a bit of a waiting game since the Nathaniel MG Cup games.

“Hopefully daily cases will continue to drop and Wales can enter Tier 3, with the elite status, therefore, being re-instated.

“The players have remained so patient up until this point, and there was certainly an air of excitement when the announcement was made. As a group, they have ticked over, but without the buzz of a matchday and general competitive action, it simply is not the same.

“To get any sort of season was always going to be in the balance, and we count ourselves lucky as Tier 3 and below have had that taken away from them.”

Eardley added that the hard work starts now for second-tier clubs, who need to abide by strict COVID-19 guidelines and embark on 15 games in nine-and-a-half weeks to ensure a successful conclusion to the 2020/21 league season.

“We will be stringent as a club with the COVID-19 protocols, respect the restrictions and be as prepared as a football club as we can be, as will the other 15 clubs,” he added.

“If the 15 games can be completed only then I feel we will know if it was the right decision and best solution to commence.”