Premier League managers often bemoan the Christmas fixture list, but such a schedule would constitute rest for Midland Football League side Stourport Swifts.
That’s because, thanks to a congested fixture list, the ninth-tier football team have an astounding eight football matches in 12 days to contend with.
Remaining April Fixtures:
Mon 16th - @HeanorTownFC (A)
Tues 17th - @WorcesterCityFc (H)
Thurs 19th - @lborofootball (H)
Sat 21st - @CoventrySphinx (H)
Tues 24th - @HeanorTownFC (H)
Weds 25th - @AFCWulfrunians (H)
Thurs 26th - @CoventrySphinx (A)
Sat 28th - @themikesfc (A)— Stourport Swifts FC (@StourportSwifts) April 16, 2018
The hectic run of games is down to multiple factors including a run in the FA Vase which saw the side knocked out in the last-16, while waterlogged pitches have caused 10 of the side’s last 15 games to be called off.
The league’s season was extended earlier in April to allow for the fixture backlog to be cleared, but Stourport then saw their next four games all called off.
To put their plight in context, the Swifts have played nine games fewer than league leaders Bromsgrove Sporting.
The result is a string of fixtures that looks impossible to negotiate with just one squad, but some forward thinking might just see the team through it.
“We could sort of see these fixtures piling up last month, and fortunately Colin Gordon the Kidderminster Harriers chairman is a friend of our chairman,” Stourport press officer Ian Johnson told the Press Association.
“They (Kidderminster) are in the process of putting together an under-23 team to go in a league next season but they’ve not actually got a league to play in, so we took the precaution last month of signing some of their under-23 players, so we have got them to call on if we need them.”
And if a busy fixture list wasn’t difficult enough for footballers with other full-time jobs to think about, the team faces the slim possibility that they could be relegated too, sitting 17th in a 22-team league.
“It is possible but we certainly hope unlikely,” Johnson said of relegation. “Good results against the teams around us we hope will be enough to keep us safe.
“We’ve got to be conscious of it though, and we probably need to pick the games when we really go for it because we need certainly two, probably three, wins to make us safe.”
Stourport also face three games in four days at the start of May, while a game at home to Coventry United is still to be rescheduled.