ILKLEY Town will have to wait anxiously ahead of the FA’s promotion verdict.

The chief governing body in association with football will decide on Town’s fortunes after the season’s league fixtures were curtailed.

Town topped the West Yorkshire Association Football Premier Division, before Covid-19 forced a halt to the season.

The ‘Bahtatters’ had dreamt of reaching step six football next season and were well on their way to doing it, but for the second season running, the pandemic scuppered their hopes.

Fortunately for the Whites, the FA have provided a silver lining as step seven football was curtailed rather than being declared null and void, meaning league positioning and statistics remain intact.

Speaking on Town’s chances of gaining promotion, Manager Simon Armstrong said: “We are still waiting to hear from the FA regarding promotion.

“However, we are preparing the ground, so we meet the ground grading requirements which was of the request of the North West Counties.

“This is in the event that the FA decide to restructure their decision-making process.

“It’s still up in the air, but from our perspective we are just trying to get everything ready and in place, so that we might still have a chance of going up.

“We feel that, if we get everything in place regarding ground grading, we’ve done enough in the last four years regarding league placing and points per game, to be eligible for promotion.”

Town will have a tense wait on their hands with The FA’s decisions making being based on whether the side has accumulated a top five finish, ground requirements and league finishes from previous seasons.

In what has proved to be a difficult period for the club, Armstrong stated: “This group we’ve got is one of the strongest groups we’ve had. It’s got strength, depth and they’re a great bunch of lads.

“The biggest disappointment for me is that they haven’t had the opportunity in the last two seasons to win something.

“Not having an opportunity to see the last two seasons through has been a massive frustration for all of us.

“If we could get promotion, I think that would be the silver lining we need and deserve.

On the importance of grassroots football returning, Armstrong said: “I believe it’s vital. You don’t realise the physical, mental and social issues that lockdown has caused.

“When the players returned to training it was an exciting moment. The country has missed that and you don’t realise how much recreational grassroots sport keeps us fit and healthy.

Ilkley have also discovered their Presidents Cup fixtures, a cup competition made by the league to help provide the clubs with matches.

“It’s an opportunity to get the players some game time, to engage them, to let them feel football again and to help them prepare for next season”, Armstrong added.