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Urchins boss urging league to change substitutes rule

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 November 2020

Nathan Cooper of Hornchurch and Jame-Lee O'Donoghue of Haringey during Hornchurch vs Haringey Borough, Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 27th October 2020

Nathan Cooper of Hornchurch and Jame-Lee O'Donoghue of Haringey during Hornchurch vs Haringey Borough, Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 27th October 2020

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Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson is calling on the Isthmian League to allow teams to start using all five substitutes to avoid the strain of injuries.

Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson during Hornchurch vs Haringey Borough, Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 27th October 2020Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson during Hornchurch vs Haringey Borough, Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 27th October 2020

The Urchins have suffered a number of muscle injuries due to workload since returning from the nearly six month break due to the first lockdown.

Now clubs like Hornchurch have to stop training and playing again for a month.

Stimson said: “It’s a mixed feeling really. We’re devastated that we’re not going to be able to play for ourselves, then you think about the club’s wealth and also the supporters who look forward to the games every Tuesday and Saturday.

“I’ve written to the league saying that we need to use five substitutes. Muscle injuries are now a ridiculous joke.

“I picked up another two on Tuesday and all the injury problems we’ve had this season have been muscle strains where the fatigue has come in.

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“We’re asking too much from the players and that is even before we go back to absolute chaos football where we will be playing every Saturday and Tuesday.

“I know the Premier League are banging the drum massively. They did it before [allowed five substitutes] and now they’ve stopped it, and when I was listening to TalkSport the other day there were people talking about it. I feel we need to do it because otherwise the squads will be depleted.

“Hopefully I’ll get a reply from the league as it just makes sense because we’re picking up so many injuries.”

He added: “I’ve had this issue for years now. We travelled down to Folkestone, I’ve got five substitutes and I know before the game that two of those boys are not getting on.

“Those two guys have got out of work, it has cost them to get there, and I can’t give them any minutes of football – it’s ridiculous at our level.

“Players, rightly so, get the hump with it. They had to leave work, and didn’t get on.”

The former Barnet manager is calling on the league to not force players into the same situation when they resume after a month of no action this time around.

“We’re going to get into the same pattern, so let’s use common sense, which I don’t think has been used during any of this crazy time.”


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