Barrow AFC fans hoping to return to Holker Street in October to catch a glimpse of the Bluebirds in their first EFL campaign for 48 years have been given a boost by the Government.

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston has confirmed that plans remain to allow supporters back into stadiums next month.

He said that, subject to successful pilot events “and the wider public health conditions”, it is hoped supporters can return safely to grounds from October 1.

And it also comes as the EFL announced pilot games will be played this weekend with up to 1,000 supporters allowed in.

Clubs were asked to put in requests yesterday to be considered for a pilot, however it hasn't been confirmed whether Barrow's trip to Newport County on Saturday could have fans in the ground.

In a letter to clubs this yesterday, the EFL's head of policy John Nagle said: "We cannot guarantee at this stage that all clubs that would like to stage a pilot will be given permission to do so, as only a limited number will be approved.

"We are still in discussions with regard to pilot matches on other dates."

Aside from the pilot games, the Sports Minister is still hoping to have fans back in grounds on October 1.

The cancellation of a pilot event last Saturday, following tightened Government coronavirus restrictions in response

However in his letter this week, the Sports Minister explained the target is still to have fans in grounds by October 1.

This means fans could be in Holker Street for Barrow's cup clash with Leeds. He said: “We have made important progress in staging a series of pilot and test events across different sports with more to follow.

“The pilot programme will continue throughout September, restricted to a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.

“The success of these events will be reviewed ahead of the current date of October 1 for reopening for socially distanced spectators under covid-secure conditions more widely if public health conditions permit.

“I know how important this is for sports clubs for whom paying spectators are vital.

"That is why we amended guidance to provide extra clarification for organisers of non-elite sport events to help them manage and admit spectators safely, adhering to social distancing.

“Subject to the successful staging of the pilot programme and the wider public health conditions, we hope to reopen elite sports fixtures including the National League for socially distanced spectators under covid-secure conditions from October 1.”