John Askey has only been able to finally start full training this week for the first time since March – but Port Vale could be back in action in just over three weeks.
The Vale squad had Covid-19 tests last week which all came back negative and allowed contact training to begin on Monday. Mid-pre-season tests are planned for next week before more on the eve of the first game.
It is hoped that the fixture list will come out at the end of next week but the EFL and FA is having to work quickly to manage logistical challenges and get that done in time.
“League Two will start on the weekend of September 12 but it’s hoped that the Carabao Cup will be in the week commencing September 5 and we could have a League Trophy game in the mid-week of that,” said Garlick.
“I know the EFL is keen to get fixtures out but it’s not as easy as thinking there are an even number of teams in each division so just pull them out of a hat, home and away. You have to look at how far teams travel on bank holidays, at Christmas and New Year, where you are sending them in mid-week or back to back.
“Normally they genuinely have to take into account the Shipton Sheepdog Trials and Bristol Air Balloon Race as well as the British Transport Police making sure that fans of certain clubs don’t meet at train stations on their way back from respective away matches.
“Clubs are paired up as well to make sure they don’t play home matches on the same day. That’s normally us and Stoke, which might seem straight forward, but you have the Sheffield clubs with European ties to be taken into consideration.
“It’s a very tough job and this time they’re doing it in half the time it normally takes.”