Is this the end of Wrexham’s secret weapon? Long-throw specialist Ben Tozer faces problem in Ligue 2 after EFL announce BAN on towel-drying balls before throw-ins
- Players will not be allowed to use towels to dry balls before throw-ins in 2023-24
- Fans were quick to note that this could prove a problem for Wrexham’s Ben Tozer
- Long throw specialists across the division will now be required to use their shirts
Wrexham captain Ben Tozer will have to change his long throw routine after the EFL announced that towels to dry balls before throw-ins are banned next season.
Tozer’s long throw was an incredibly effective weapon for Wrexham and played a role in helping them earn promotion to the Football League after 15 years.
Supporters, particularly at away games, have been keen to offer jackets and towels from home to the Wrexham center before kick-offs, but this option will be removed in League Two for 2023-24.
On Thursday, the EFL confirmed: “Clubs will no longer be permitted to use towels or other items including items obtained from spectators to dry footballs during matches.”
Players have long used their shirt to dry the ball, giving them better grip and the ability to kick it more into the penalty area.
Ben Tozer will no longer be able to use towels (left) to dry balls before taking a throw-in, after the EFL confirmed training would be banned in all of its divisions for the 2023-24 season.
Tozer will no doubt stick to his thunderous throw, but the ban on the use of towels poses problems in rainy or drizzly weather.
The use of towels has proven a contentious debate in the lower leagues, with a lack of consistency as to who has towels on hand.
It is understood that the proposal to ban the use of towels – allegedly an effort to speed up the play of the game – was unanimously backed by all 72 Football League clubs.
The temperature added that the Premier League had “no intention” of following the EFL’s lead with a towel ban.
In 2011, Stoke City brought the use of towels into disrepute when the league intervened.
Tozer’s throw was effective in helping Wrexham seal National League promotion
Defender Ryan Shotton has added a red towel vest under his shirt to dry balls before throw-ins – but EFL players will have to find ways to get a buy without resorting to towel vests.
Meanwhile, the EFL have also confirmed they are introducing a multiball system across all their competitions for the 2023-24 season.
Match balls will be placed on cones in designated areas on the side of the pitch to help increase ball playing time.