Dagenham & Redbridge managing director Steve Thompson reveals club voted in favour of National League play-off changes

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 June 2017

Dagenham & Redbridge were beaten by Forest Green Rovers in last season's National League play-off semi-finals (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Dagenham & Redbridge were beaten by Forest Green Rovers in last season's National League play-off semi-finals (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Teams as low as seventh will now qualify for play-offs under new rules

Dagenham & Redbridge managing director Steve Thompson has revealed the Essex club voted in favour of changes to the National League play-off system.

At the competition’s AGM on Saturday, clubs across all three National League competitions opted to accept changes to the play-offs that would see teams as low as seventh qualify.

Under the new rules, to be in force from this coming season, the team in first would still go up as champions, with second and third receiving a bye to the play-off semi-finals.

In the quarter-finals, fourth would host seventh while fifth would entertain sixth, with the ties played over one leg.

In the semis, second would welcome the winners of fourth against seventh, while the victors of the other quarter-final would travel to third, with the ties again over one leg.

The final will take place at Wembley in May as per usual, and Thompson revealed the reasoning why Daggers voted in favour of the changes.

“The vote was only ever really a rubber stamping and the process regarding the change to the play-offs had started even before we became members of the league,” he said.

“We fully support it as it gives the teams finishing second and third a real advantage as you only have to play one game at home before the final at Wembley.

“When you have a system where only two go up and one of those is through the play-offs, anything that favours second or third must only be a positive.

“The changes will mean more teams have something to play for at the end of the season and you always want your team to be playing exciting games every week.We couldn’t do anything other than vote in favour of the changes because we supported the principle.”

At the AGM, it was also confirmed that the National League fixtures would be released at 1pm on July 5, and that the competition would see referees use vanishing spray for the first time. It is hoped the use of vanishing spray will allow officials to properly mark out the distance between taker and wall for the free-kick, with teams across the National League last season regularly failing to make it back the required 10 yards as referees struggled to police it.

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