Ilkeston will finally begin their Evo-Stik Premier Division campaign at home to Ashton United tomorrow after the Northern Premier League lifted their suspension from all footballing activity.
The NPL enforced the punishment a fortnight ago after claiming Ilkeston had ‘breached rules and regulations.’
The suspension related to non-payment of footballing creditors but the club has told the Advertiser that these debts have now been settled, and at a meeting of NPL officials on Thursday morning it was agreed that the suspension should be lifted with immediate effect.
The Robins will, however, still have to face a league panel next Wednesday to answer charges of failing to fulfil four fixtures, despite the suspension being in place at the time.
Robins skipper Matt Baker says the players are now raring to go for the Ashton game.
He said: “We’re really excited to get going now having had to wait so long. Now it’s all sorted we can get back to doing what we want to do which is play football.
“It’s been frustrating at times as obviously we want to play but we’ve been assured all the time that the club is in a good position and that there’s nothing to worry about, so we’ve always been focused on working hard in training and keeping our fitness levels up and being ready for whenever the first game would be.
“Everyone’s still positive and there’s no negativity about the place, we’re all just looking forward to playing.
“We know it’ll be a tough game against Ashton as it always is but we’re hoping to blow the cobwebs away and put a good performance in.”
Ilkeston last played an official match against Belper Town in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, August 6, so haven’t kicked a ball in a proper match environment for three weeks, but Baker doesn’t feel a lack of match practice will be a major problem against a side who are already four games into their campaign.
He added: “We’re all fit and ready and we’re all young lads so it shouldn’t be an issue.
“There’s no excuses tomorrow if we don’t perform, it will be our fault, not down to a lack of training or anything like that. Everybody seems fit in training so should be ready.”
Following the Ashton game, Ilkeston will quickly be in action again away at Matlock Town on Bank Holiday Monday with a 3pm start.