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 eight fixtures of their north/west division campaign before it was put on hold indefinitely in early November.

Three-quarters of clubs from Step 3 down to Step 6 were found to be in favour of ending the season early by a vote in late February.

The FA Council will meet tomorrow (Thursday 18) when they will be asked to ratify this decision, as well as the declaration of null and void of the Step 2 season.

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.

Chances 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 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.