NCE League: New-look Celts take on title favourites in red-hot opener

John Deacey
John Deacey
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FARSLEY CELTIC have been handed a baptism of fire in their Evo-Stik League Division One North opener on Saturday – with title favourites Colwyn Bay being the visitors.

Much-fancied Bay have made a raft of pre-season signings, including Witton Albion winger Danny Andrews for a four figure fee, with the north Wales outfit fully intent on going up – with Farsley determined to have something to say about that tomorrow.

The Celts, who will be captained by Paddy Miller, have also added some quality players to their squad as they look to build on last season with a promotion push of their own.

One of the headline moves sees former Guiseley and Darlington striker James Walshaw return to the club after a seven-year absence.

The vastly-experienced forward has been recruited from Shaw Lane along with former Bradford City left-back Luke O’Brien and midfielder Peter Davidson.

Other newcomers include goalkeeper Graeme McKibben, who has joined after spells in Northern Ireland with Ards and Glentoran.

The stopper replaces Tom Taylor as Farsley’s number one after he signed for local rivals Brighouse Town.

Nathen Turner and Richard Marshall complete the signings list, having both joined from Bradford Park Avenue.

Another big change has occured behind the scenes with John Deacey back at the club as joint manager with Neil Parsley for the start of the campaign.

Deacey had been helping out at Farsley since November following the decision of Mark Jackson to step aside.

Action elsewhere tomorrow in the Northern Counties East League sees Brighouse, whose new signings include ex-Leeds player Luke Parkin, host Radcliffe Borough.

Brighouse have also brought in ex-Burnley forward Jamie Frost, left-back Luke Spires and former Selby Town winger Danny Bunch this week.

Other signings include Steve Mallory and Fernando Moke.

Ossett Albion, whose newcomers include ex-Harrogate Rail midfielder Jack Stockdill, host Clitheroe and Ossett Town visit Prescot.

Tadcaster Albion, who have added Lewis Morgan and Fatlum Ibrahimi to their ranks this month and have ex-York keeper Michael Ingham in goal, visit Hyde and Goole go to Ramsbottom.

In the Premier Division, Frickley, who have persuaded Polish goalkeeper Sebastian Malkowski to sign a one-year contract extension, welcome Ashton.

The Blues finished seventh last term, but have been busy in their recruitment, bringing in 10 players.

Former Tadcaster striker Carl Stewart, Joel Purkiss, Royale Johnson, Henri Nimi, Greg Pearson and John Lufudu are among manager Karl Rose’s recruits.

Whitby make the long trip to Sutton Coldfield.