IT is not on many occasions that a non-league manager is left without two players due to international call-ups.
But that is the bizarre situation Farsley boss Neil Parsley finds himself in this weekend, with striker Adam Priestley and midfielder Jason St Juste missing tomorrow’s Evo-Stik North top-of-the-table home game with Northwich Victoria due to international commitments with Gibraltar and St Kitts and Nevis respectively.
The two nations may be tiny, but the pride of both Priestley, born in Gibraltar and Leeds-born St Juste is manifest, according to Parsley, who admits he did seriously contemplate whether he could force tomorrow’s clash to be called off due to the call-ups.
Parsley said: “I have got an international striker and midfielder. It is quite ironic really.
“Not being without them will be difficult for us, but having said that, they have got rewards for themselves and the team doing well.
“From a selfish perspective, I want the players here for selection. But from the club and individuals’ point of view, it is a great accolade and they have gone with our blessing and pats on the back and everyone wishes them all the best.
“The boys have been sending them text messages and it’s good for them. It raises our profile and their own and is a good little plug for the club.
Priestley is hoping to make history in Gibraltar’s first-ever Uefa-recognised tournament game when they take on Poland in a Euro 2016 qualifier in Faro on Sunday.
Former Halifax player St Juste is on his maiden international adventure with St Kitts, with the Caribbean nation, after facing St Lucia on Wednesday, taking on Dominica in the Caribbean Cup tonight.
St Juste is also hoping to be involved in the game with Guyana on Sunday – with the 27-year-old flying back to the UK on Tuesday.
The pair’s absence is slightly ill-timed for Parsley in the respect that tomorrow’s game is the start of a what looks a daunting itinerary for his side.
Farsley must also lock horns with Darlington 1883, Burscough, Mossley and Frickley Athletic – the latter opponents being in the FA Cup – this month.
Parsley said: “We have won four out of five and that has given us a good platform to carry on really.
“But on paper, September is really tough and we know what it throws up.”
Elsewhere tomorrow, while the match of the day involves Farsley, Ossett Town, in 19th place in the early table, go across the Pennines to Radcliffe.
Brighouse, in eighth spot in the table, head to Cumbria to face early strugglers Kendal Town.
Ossett Albion, who have made a decent start to the season after a fraught last few years, entertain Bamber Bridge.
Harrogate Railway travel to Burscough, while Scarborough Athletic, in fourth position in the table, are at home to visiting Prescot Cables.
Buoyed by their morale-boosting first three points of the league season against Matlock in midweek, Karl Rose’s Frickley will be keen to double up on home soil tomorrow afternoon.
But they face a tough ask at home to Skelmserdale United.
Whitby Town, who are currently propping up the table, must make the long trip to Belper Town.
Action in First Division South sees Goole play host to Norton United.