Teacher Priestley ready for German test with Gibraltar

Adam Priestley
Adam Priestley
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NOT many non-league strikers grace the same turf as the world champions – but that is the tantalising prospect which hopefully awaits Farsley AFC and Gibraltar striker Adam Priestley tomorrow night.

The part-time footballer, who hails from Sherburn and teaches at Morley Academy, is preparing for the footballing night of a lifetime against the might of Germany in Nuremberg tomorrow evening.

While he is understandably excited, the former Garforth forward admits it is a slightly scary prospect.

Three games into their Group D Euro 2016 qualification programme, Gibraltar have recorded three losses, no goals and boast a minus-17 goal difference, far from ideal preparation ahead of facing Fifa’s number one ranked team in the world.

Allen Pula’s side have already gone down by seven unanswered goals against Poland, in their group curtain-raiser in Faro and against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin last month. And many in the footballing fraternity are expecting a similar, if not more substantial, defeat at the hands of the Germans.

Joachim Low’s side, wounded by a haul of just four points from three qualification matches so far, are in third place in the table and are keen to take out their frustration on Priestley and co.

On the clash against Germany, whose biggest win was a 16-0 victory over the Russian Empire back in 1912, Farsley striker Priestley – who has made two appearances from the bench in qualification matches so far – said: “You watch these German players on TV and admire what they do and to have the chance to be on the same pitch as them and competing against them is massive.

“You look at players like Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Manuel Neuer. Everyone on the pitch will be world-class players. It is a scary thought.

“It is crazy we will be gracing the pitch against those calibre of players.

“Without a doubt, it was the game that stuck out when the draw was made. At the time, they weren’t world champions and now they are and it makes it an even bigger game.

“It is not every day you get to play against the world champions, so it will be an amazing experience – no matter what the result is.

“To play against the calibre of players as Germany and say I have played against the world champions would be something I never personally thought I’d do.”

Priestley, who has made substitute appearances in the games against Poland and in their last match, a 3-0 reverse to Georgia, added: “I will work hard in training over there and fingers crossed, whether it is from the start or the bench, hopefully I can get a few more minutes under my belt and maybe get a chance.”

Gibraltar’s mission might seem inconsequential to most tomorrow, but to the tiny British colony, it means the world.

Namely scoring their first competitive goal which is something Gib have not managed in their three competitive games so far.

In seven internationals since their historic first meeting against Slovakia 12 months ago, they have netted just three times – all in friendlies – with finding the net in a Uefa competition representing something of a Holy Grail.

Priestley is the first to admit that he would dearly love to be that man who makes history for Gibraltar, whose three goalscorers in their short history as a Fifa member so far are captain Roy Chipolina, Kyle Casciaro and Bristol Rovers winger Jake Gosling.

He said: “Scoring that first competitive goal is an accolade I think a few of the players would like; myself being one of them.

“But whoever it comes to, really.

“We have had a few chances and scored one against Georgia and we still can’t see why it was ruled out.

“One of left-backs also had a header against Ireland from a corner and it literally hit the keeper on the head and went over the bar.

“But we will get there.”

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