JUBILANT FARSLEY Celtic manager Adam Lakeland believes that his Celts players and staff have earned their place in club folklore after securing the National League North title.
An ecstatic crowd of just over 1,500 at Throstle Nest saw the Villagers see off Marine 2-0 to clinch promotion on Saturday – the final act in a declared mission that began way back in the close season, according to Lakeland.
He said: “To be the group of managers and players who have put us back in Conference North means that we have written our place in history forever.
“It is such a great club with a lot of volunteers who have given their lives to this club and put everything on the line to see the club come back from where it was and get it back to this stage.
“At the start of the season, I met every single player individually and that includes the new lads that we signed and said to them that our aim was promotion.
“I also strongly felt that we could challenge for the title if we got in the players that we wanted and we managed to do that.
“It was easy to say that, but that was the confidence and the belief in the group of players that we put together.”
On what Celtic can expect in National League North, who include the likes of former Football League clubs York City, Kidderminster Harriers, Chester and Darlington among their number, Lakeland added: “We will certainly be a small fish in a very big pond.
“But we have competed with two Conference North clubs this season and acquitted ourselves quite well.
“There are some massive full-team clubs in this division and we know it will be very tough. But we will enjoy the challenge ahead of us.”
Our away form has also been incredible along with the mental strength of the players.Adam Lakeland
It has been a season to savour at Throstle Nest, with Farsley’s triumph made all the more sweeter and noteworthy given what they have been up against this season in one of the competitive Evo-Stik Premier Division seasons ever.
It saw promotion and silverware rivals South Shields and Warrington push Lakeland’s side all the way in an absorbing battle to go up.
Farsley have also had to handle losing six points after North Ferriby’s results were expunged after the East Yorkshire club were liquidated, with Celtic having comprehensively beaten Ferriby twice – in a 6-0 and 4-0 victories respectively.
As well as handling that adversity and the loss of some key players to injury, Farsley’s robust away form has also represented a particular source of pride to Lakeland, whose side won 15 league games on the road in 2018-19.
Citing the key ingredients in his side’s promotion, he said: “I would say it is our consistency, away form and mentality.
“We would have won this league by quite a distance in any other given season. But the form of South Shields and Warrington has been such that the three of us have tussled away at the top – credit to all three teams.
“Our away form has also been incredible along with the mental strength of the players because we have faced numerous set-backs throughout the season – whether it be a long-term injury to a key player, negative result or points being deducted (after North Ferriby’s results were expunged).
“It would have been easy for the players to make excuses in the circumstances, but they have not done and they have accepted what has happened and bounced back.”