Farsley Celtic boss Adam Lakeland’s got his sights set on a play-off push

Farsley Celtic begin their National League North campaign with a trip to phoenix club Hereford FC at Edgar Street this afternoon.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 6:00 am
New Farsley Celtic striker James Hanson, left, in action for his former team Grimsby Town. Picture: Joe Prior/Getty Images).

The Celt Army mirrored their first ever season in the sixth-tier with an 11th-placed finish last term, and will look to go one better and reach the play-offs this season with fans finally allowed back into grounds across the country.

And, despite not playing a competitive fixture since January, manager Adam Lakeland has full belief his side will carry on from where they left off – especially with their new additions.

“The lads have thoroughly enjoyed being back in and being back around one another,” Lakeland said.

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Farsley Celtic manager Adam Lakeland. Picture: Steve Riding.

“We’re mindful that they’ve had a long lay-off, and we’ve probably picked up a few more injuries in pre-season than in the past, which is a consequence of that. But we’re into the start of the season now and I think that we’re all ready to go and continue playing competitive football again.”

Despite starting the season away from home, Lakeland is over the moon that fans are returning to grounds, claiming it is a big boost to his side regardless of venue.

“It’s one of the things that makes football in general – and especially non-league – so special is that close interaction you have with fans.

“For me, there is no better place to start the season away at Hereford, a former football league club and a very historic ground with a lot of fans, and we have to relish that.”

Guiseley joint manager Marcus Bignot.

Having strengthened their squad, there is a notable marquee signing in Farsley’s ranks, notably James Hanson.

It was reported that there was Football League interest in Hanson, but with the former Bradford City striker opting for a return to Yorkshire, it represents a big coup for Celtic.

“I think we’ve recruited very well this summer. James was a player who wasn’t initially on our radar, but as soon as there was a glimmer of getting him we moved on it,” added Lakeland.

“He came in, had a chat and liked what he saw. It’s a really big signing and he’s got stronger day by day.

“It would be an amazing feat for us to achieve promotion given the means we have, compared to the rest of the teams but we are an ambitious group and we have tried to improve season upon season. Anything above 11th would mean we match that and it shows our progression.”

Farsley have also brought in winger Ben McKenna from Spennymoor Town and midfielder Sam Walker from Curzon Ashton.

Elsewhere, Guiseley will look to rectify the mishaps they suffered last season by gaining all three points in today’s home opener against AFC 
Fylde.

The Lions were embroiled in a relegation battle last season, picking up just 12 points from 15 games, and were perhaps fortunate when the season was curtailed due to Covid-19 complications – but joint manager Marcus Bignot knows the division well and will be looking to get the Nethermoor outfit back challenging at the right end of the table.