HEREFORD manager Josh Gowling has urged the National League to address how they plan Bank Holiday fixtures after his side have suffered a host of injuries.

The Bulls played at Banbury during the August Bank Holiday weekend and then hosted Gloucester City two days later.

Since then his side have had a host of injury problems and Gowling feels his side haven’t recovered since August.

“It’s a crazy period at the moment,” said Gowling.

“We get through a game and pick up an injury and it seems to be never ending at the moment. I’d like to think we’ll get our bad luck out of the way now and be plane sailing for the rest of the season hopefully.

“I don’t think the fixture congestion helped. Normally at the start of the year you get the games that keep coming. This year has been a bit weird, it’s gone from no games to having loads.

“What killed us was the (August) Bank Holiday. We had a game Saturday and then Monday and the recovery times for the players just wasn’t there.

“From then on I don’t think we’ve recovered. Really, we should have moved the Saturday game to the Friday.

“But instead we went Saturday, Monday, Saturday, Tuesday and then all of a sudden the squads just can’t recover in time and start picking up niggly injuries.

“We haven’t been able to train properly or get enough recovery time in and that’s been a big problem for us.

“You need to condition the body, this season it’s been Saturday, Saturday and then bang a Bank Holiday and the lads aren’t primed for it yet.

“The National League need to seriously sit down and have a look at the fixtures and where they stagger the fixtures in the right way so the lads can hit their fitness levels ready to go into a Saturday, Monday.”

Injury updates


The Bulls head to National League side Bromley for their FA Cup fourth qualifying round game on Saturday and the manager has admitted they are ‘down to their bare bones’.

Hereford under-18 players have been training with the side and are set to be involved in the FA Cup squad.

“We’re not great,” added Gowling.

“Thierry (Latty-Fairweather) pulled him hamstring in the Boston game so he’ll be out for three to four weeks.

“Kane (Thompson-Sommers) is still a good few weeks off with his ankle. We’ve got Zak (Lilly) who is still a few weeks (off). Brad (Wade) is still off with his arm. Ryan (Lloyd) is struggling with his abdomen, so we’ll send him off for a scan.

“Jack (Holmes) is cup tied as well so he’s not available. Jordan (Thompson) has done some work outside on the pitches today running and stuff but he’s still not ready yet.

“We are bare bones. We had a couple of the youth team lads in today training with us so we’ll look to promote them up through the ranks for Saturday and they’ll definitely be involved.

“We’ve probably got less players than we had at Boston. Luke (Haines) will be back in now as he wasn’t at the Boston game because his missus gave birth to a little one. He’s back in contention now.”

Goalkeeper dilemma


The Bulls also have a goalkeeper dilemma with Coventry City loanee Cian Tyler made unavailable by his parent club who don’t want their shot stopper cup tied.

Dino Visser faces a late fitness test to see if he is available while there is also a third goalkeeper training with the squad.

“He’s (Tyler) fourth choice goalkeeper at Coventry but for whatever reason they don’t want him to play in the FA Cup, I can’t really got my head around that one,” added Gowling.

“We’re working with Dino (Visser) and he was in today (Thursday) doing some work, we’ve got another goalkeeper who has been training with us anyway.

“If Dino is not going to be fit then he will slot in fine. With his knee it’s the last part of it which is striking a football, he felt a little bit in his knee so we’ll see how it settles down and make a decision on Saturday before the game to make sure that he’s going to be right.”

Hereford aren’t the only side struggling with injuries as a host of other National League North sides including Kidderminster Harriers have similar problems.

“Covid hasn’t helped and then had a full season which has took an extra toll on their bodies, they’ve gone away for the summer and so it might be a little hangover,” added Gowling.

“With smaller squads this season which pretty much everyone has it hasn’t helped as you can’t miss the players.

“With the extra games comes extra running and more injuries.”