With his players due to start pre-season training in a week’s time, Barrow AFC manager David Dunn is hoping they’ve been keeping their fitness ticking over through the longest break from action any of them will have had.

After months of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which ultimately caused last season to be curtailed, the Bluebirds can finally plan ahead after it was announced last Friday that the 2020/21 campaign will be starting on September 12.

The news will have caused excitement at clubs whose players haven’t played since March up and down the country, but that is especially the case at Holker Street, as it means the club’s first season in the Football League is now just over six weeks away.

Not surprisingly, after such an unprecedented period, AFC’s players can’t wait to finally get back to the day job.

Dunn said: “I think a lot of footballers up and down the country just want to get back playing.

“Let’s be honest, we’ve never had anything like this happen to us before, so most players have had four or five months off from not being at their clubs.

“I’m hoping that everyone has been ticking over and keeping fit and that everyone is raring to go now we’ve got those start dates from the league that everyone has been waiting for.”

Another area that is going to become clearer for Barrow is how they’ll be building up for one of the biggest seasons in the club’s history.

The club announced last Friday their first pre-season friendly - an away game at FC United of Manchester on Saturday, August 22 - and several more are set to be revealed fairly shortly now Dunn knows he has a date to work toward in what will be his first campaign in charge.

“Everyone is in the same boat, but I’ve kind of more or less got all the games sorted, or pencilled in” Dunn said.

“We’re well on with that, let’s put it that way.

“I’d like to think that every footballer in the land can’t wait to get going.”

Dunn has full sympathy with what the players have been going through during the pandemic, saying: “No-one has seen anything like it and that’s why everything has been such a grey area and everyone hasn’t really had an idea of what anyone else is doing.”