COLWYN Bay manager Craig Hogg has called on the Football Association of Wales to extend the JD Cymru North season after another delay to their preparations.

Tier 2 football in Wales was not permitted to return to training by Sport Wales following the latest Welsh Government announcement, which has plunged the start date of March 20 into real doubt unless teams head into the campaign with very little in the way of training or friendly matches.

This did not go unnoticed by Hogg, who highlighted player welfare and a lack of activity as the primary reasons why the campaign needs to get a bit more time to come to a successful conclusion, providing it actually gets underway in the first place.

He said: “If we do get going, the season needs to be extended by two or three weeks in my view.

“That would give everyone the best possible chance of completing it. The 15-game plan is something I like as a one off, but not over the shorter period of time we now have.

“Without crying about that too much, I just don’t see how the schedule has accounted for player welfare?

“Cramming in as many games as possible into a shorter period won’t work. By the time we’d start 99 per cent of players in Tier 2 won’t have kicked a ball for the best part of four months.

“The gravity of that is huge. The physical impact of playing a game every three days for eight or nine weeks - with ten days before hand to get ready for it - will take a huge toll on players physically.

“I don’t understand why that’s acceptable to non-football thinking people?”

Hogg is confident he has a squad big enough to mount a promotion challenge after a flurry of activity during the January transfer window, although Bangor City and Airbus UK Broughton undoubtedly have a head start after being granted permission to play and train throughout the restrictions.

The Seagulls’ staff will be monitoring injuries and mental health significantly when players return to training and competitive action, which Hogg stated should come before anything else in the current climate.

“We have a big squad at the Bay now and I think we should be equipped to complete the program. But other teams may not be as fortunate,” he added.

“The novelty of playing again may wear away quickly when some clubs end up with more players in the physio room than they have available to play a game.

“I think the sensible way forward would be to extend the season by a few weeks. It would give everyone a chance.

“Whether you see this season as a chance to go up or as a chance to play 15 friendly matches, player welfare needs to be put first. They must be put above everything else in my opinion.”