Brian Caldwell reacts to the 2018/19 fixture release
Shrewsbury Town CEO, Brian Caldwell, has given his reaction to the release of the 2018/19 fixtures.
Town start the season at home against Bradford City on Saturday 4th August, before traveling to Charlton Athletic on Saturday 11th August.
Brian is especially pleased to be starting at home and believes that there will be a good atmosphere with the Safe Standing section in use for the first time.
“It’s not long in coming round, especially with the late season we’ve had with the Play-Off Final going to the end of May”, said Caldwell.
“Obviously we are all working hard here as staff to make sure that they planning is right for next season no matter what, so now we’ve got the fixtures we can put in the dates and start to plan the games as well.
“Interesting start with Bradford at home, which I think is a good start for us. Bradford hopefully will bring a decent support, should be a good day, and obviously with it being the first league game used for the safe standing that should encourage a lot of people along and we will get a good atmosphere.
“Charlton away isn’t an easy game, never has been an easy game, but obviously we were fortunate to beat them twice there last season and sometimes you are better making those journeys in the winter months rather than the summer months.”
One of the standout periods is the festive period and Caldwell has questioned the logic that will see Town travel to Accrington on Boxing Day and Sunderland on 29th December.
“I’m a bit disappointed with Sunderland away on the 29th December”, Brian admitted.
“It’s not necessarily just because of that date, it’s more for the players. We got hit with this fixture last season on the 29th by being sent to Southend and then we had the home game on the first.
“From a recovery point of view there is limited time, especially when you’ve had a long journey like Sunderland, so I’d hoped that when there was such a quick turnaround that they might have regionalised the fixtures in some way.
“We’ve played Sunderland before and it’s a great occasion, and hopefully with it being in the Christmas period, when people are off, that helps, but from a playing point of view it’s two big games with little time for recovery.”
With the fixtures now out Brian’s attentions turn towards organisation for next season and he is hoping to work closely with the supporters to improve the match day experience.
“Now that we know the dates we can start to look at it and plan”, said Caldwell.
“I know we’ve got a meeting with the Supporters’ Parliament guys next week about various initiatives. At the end of the day it’s important that we work with the fans and try and make sure we make safe standing work.
“We need to try and get as many people here as possible, we need to try and help the atmosphere as much as possible, and hopefully by working together we can achieve that.”