National League: Clubs vote in favour of play-off expansion to include six teams

Reporter:

Charlie Croasdale

THE National League play-offs will include six teams next season after proposals were approved at the league’s AGM.

National League chief executive Michael Tattersall believes the three divisions will be ‘more competitive than ever’ after the plans were given the green light at Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, on Saturday.

The league required 75 per cent of clubs to vote for the proposal and Tattersall said: “With more clubs having the opportunity to reach the play-offs, we will have a better season. It’s that simple.”

Both Chester and Wrexham voted for the plans, which will see teams finishing fourth to seventh taking part in play-off qualifying matches at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

The winners of those one-off ties will then face an away semi-final at the two teams finishing second and third, with two-legged matches scrapped.

One-off finals will then take place across National League Premier, North and South to determine who joins the title winners who will continue to be automatically promoted.

At the awards dinner, Lincoln’s Danny Cowley was crowned manager of the year, with both Lincoln and Sutton United recognised for their fine runs in this season’s FA Cup.

Chester were rewarded for their Community Trust’s work, nominated for the best community project award, with in particular focus paid to their coaching link between first-team player Evan Horwood and the University of Chester.

The Trust received a trophy and a cheque for £5,000 for their hard work.

CEO Mark Maguire, who was attending the AGM on behalf of the club, said: "It is a fantastic indication of the growing status of the Community Trust where Jim Green is building on the platform created by Jon McCarthy.

“There is some brilliant work going on and it is particularly exciting that this award celebrates the closeness of partnership between the cluband the Trust. 

“I'd like to congratulate Jim, his staff and the Trust Board for their efforts and look forward to many more awards demonstrating Chester FC's community credentials in the future.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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