CITY hope to find out this week when the new season will begin.

Two possible start dates for 2020/2021 are currently on the table, August 29 and September 12.

Clubs are set to vote on their preference and a decision could be announced within days. It would end the sense of limbo that has gripped the lower divisions and allow them to prepare with a target to aim for.

The earlier proposal to kick off at the end of August would see the season completed on May 9. Alternatively, a September 12 start would mean the campaign running until May 22 – and could potentially include 11 midweek league dates.

But Stuart McCall is looking forward to finally seeing some clarity and the prospect of being able to get back to training again.

He said: “I would like to think that we’ll get the start date and I certainly hope so.

“You do sense that it’s getting nearer and hopefully that will be the case. Once we are back, there’s a lot to be organised.

This is like people coming back from long-term injuries when you have to do a lot of base running and fitness.

“If we’re talking about getting back, then we’ll still have to be ‘unfurloughed’. There will also have to be discussions regarding what testing we need doing when we come back.

“But we’re in discussions with Woodhouse Grove School and they have been really cooperative in this period.

“They are working hard with us to put things in place for the players to go back to training whenever that will be.

“The school have given us great help and we’ve got a very good relationship with them. Hopefully we can get back there soon.”

McCall will discuss the training strategy carefully with fitness coach Ben Rome. The Bantams do not want to take any risks with the players at first after such a long absence from the training ground.

He added: “This situation is unheard of. Normally you get six to eight weeks off but we’re looking at nearly four and a half months.

“This is like people coming back from long-term injuries when you have to do a lot of base running and fitness.

“Naturally you haven’t got the actual physical injury but the timescale out is similar, so you’ve got to be careful.

“We would usually get into the footballs on the first day but that won’t be the case. We’ll also have to have a lot of testing done.

“There might be the social-distancing part early on. There are a lot of open spaces to do that but you can’t go really full on at first.

“If you do too much too soon, you’ve obviously got more chance of picking up injuries.”

McCall also plans to get in touch with his former Valley Parade fitness coach Chris Short, who is now at Oxford. They are preparing for the League One play-off final against Wycombe at Wembley tonight.

McCall said: “I obviously know Shorty very well and I’ll have a chat with him about what they did there to get ready for the play-off games over a short period of time.

“You’re trying to take a bit on board from people who have experienced it. Nobody has ever been through this before.

“As a manager, you’re desperate to get back in but you’ve got to be sensible.

“But we’ll be fully focused and I’m looking forward to getting back with the players the sooner the better.”