Having got their players back in for pre-season training, Barrow AFC are now putting the finishing touches on a schedule of friendlies for their players to get themselves up to speed ahead of the new campaign.

In just under six weeks’ time, the Bluebirds will be embarking on their first season in the English Football League for 48 years, although no date has been set for when the fixtures for League Two will be released.

That situation has been complicated by the fact the appeal against sanctions imposed on Macclesfield Town, which could yet relegate them and reprieve Stevenage, won’t be heard for another week.

So far, just an away game against FC United of Manchester on August 22 has been made public by AFC, but manager David Dunn has given an indication of the teams his side will be coming up against, all behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

Dunn said: “We’re more or less there with the warm-up games - we’ve confirmed a couple more, but we’re just waiting for times, and stuff like that.

“We’ll have some good games over the next month. We’ll have a game against a Championship team, a couple of League One teams and then we’ve got a couple of non-league teams. It’s coming together pretty well.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the players personally and hopefully we can build on the success they had last year.

“I know it’s going to be a big challenge for us all, but it’s one that we need to grasp and prove to people that we deserve to be where we are.”

Dunn isn’t too worried that it’s going to be another couple of weeks until his players can go into full contact training again.

The Bluebirds’ squad - including recent new additions James Jones and Callum Gribbin - are currently in ‘phase one’ of Covid-19 protocols, which state that players have to train in small groups, with no contact during the sessions.

Dunn said: “We’ve just got to hit a couple of phases first and once we do, we’ll be okay.

“I think it will soon move on quickly, but we’ve got to make sure that we’re doing everything the EFL are advising us to do.

“To be honest, a lot of pre-season is fitness work anyway, so we’ll be doing to sort of fitness work that we would have had planned early doors.

“Certainly in the first week we’ll be getting them all ready to go and getting them as fit as they can be ahead of the first game of the season.”