CHAIRMAN Wayne Taylor has said Pickering Town would be open to a pre-season competition with local sides following the curtailment of the 2020/21 Northern Premier League term.

The Pikes were able to fulfil just nine fixtures of their north/west division campaign before it was put on hold indefinitely in early November.

In late February, thee-quarters of clubs from Step 3 down to Step 6 voted to end the season early.

The FA Council are set to meet today, when they will be asked to ratify this decision, as well as the declaration of null and void of the Step 2 season.

A week previously, an Alliance Committee meeting also struck down proposals last week for a formal supplementary competition at Step 2 in which teams could win promotion to the National League.

Hopes of any such competition for the NPL were more swiftly quashed. Speaking shortly after the results of the vote from Steps 3 to 6 came through on February 24, NPL chairman Mark Harris ruled out a formal post-season competition for the league.

But, in much the same way as pre-season fixtures are organised, clubs are of course able to get together for matches, which will not have implications for the National League System’s pyramid structure.

Asked if Pickering would consider joining an informal pre-season competition, Taylor said: “I’m sure we’d be thinking of something like that.

“If we could get a competition like together with Tadcaster, Scarborough, Bridlington, Garforth - teams around us - it maybe wouldn’t be a bad competition to have.”

Like many teams whose seasons have been cut short, Pickering’s attentions now turn to preparing for the 2021/22 campaign.

The Pikes are expecting to kick off next season’s competitive outings on the second Saturday in August with the FA Cup preliminary round.

Before that, Taylor expects Pickering to look to organise eight pre-season meetings in all, four at Mill Lane and four away. They will get in touch with fellow NPL sides Scarborough Athletic and Whitby Town, as well as Leeds United.

It has been a long wait for the Pikes to hear official confirmation that their season is over - and one that has carried some frustration for Taylor.

Not a single NPL game has taken place since Boxing Day (Pickering last played on November 3) but Taylor says the club have been “left in limbo” while awaiting formal ratification of the season's curtailment.

He explained: “I thought the decision should have been made a little bit earlier to allow clubs to get sorted - not just Pickering but every other club, especially clubs with contracted players so they can get organised for the 21/22 season.

“That was the disappointing thing about it, that we were all in limbo - we couldn’t organise anything, we couldn’t get any work done on the ground because there was always the chance you’d be playing a game

of football.

"Behind the scenes, we’re planning for it to be finished then we can start doing work on the ground and start planning for next season."

Meanwhile, the Pikes media and kit man Tim Prest has raised more than £300 for the Alzheimer's Society charity, with the aim of cycling 250 miles over the course of March. To donate, visit