BFC FIXTURES 16/17: Bowyer’s men set for the long haul

Gary Bowyer

Gary Bowyer

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Gary Bowyer said he’s “really excited’ about the release of Blackpool’s fixtures this morning, even though it will mean spending close to 150 hours on the road.

League Two features more trips south and only two away games within a one-hour drive (Accrington and Morecambe).

The fixtures are announced at 9am today as new boss Bowyer looks for his side to bounce back at the first attempt.

But they’ll have to travel 8,472 miles, 2,500 more than during last season’s League One campaign.

Bowyer said: “It’s really exciting to have the fixtures. It makes everything a bit more real.

“We’ve had to wait a week longer than the Premier League but I’m looking forward to ours coming out.

“It means we can start to plan properly for the season, and can work out travel and logistics.”

Pool’s players will spend the equivalent of six full days travelling – and that’s without inevitable traffic delays.

The average round-trip next season will be 368 miles, with Accrington the shortest and Plymouth the longest – see table below .

The big kick-off is on August 6, with the League Cup first round three days later.

The season will end on May 6, with the League Two play-off final scheduled for May 20.

The shortage of local games could mean fans facing long midweek trips, something the Football League claims to try to avoid.

There will be no derbies on the opening day or over the busy Christmas period.

The Football League has been rebranded the English Football League (EFL) and its competitions manager Paul Snellgrove said: We do look at all long journeys and try to achieve the best solution overall.

“We will try to balance it out. If a club has a batch of five away trips, we’ll do our best to make sure three or four out of those five aren’t excessive in distance. It will never be a case of every away trip in a batch being long distance.

“We tend to schedule most local games for weekends as that helps to maximise attendances at games across the season.”