By Hugo Varley
Farsley Celtic boss Adam Lakeland is looking to the club’s proud history for inspiration as his Northern Premier League high-flyers seek to mount another promotion push.
The West Yorkshire club, who reached the heights of the Conference before folding and subsequently reforming, are without a league defeat since the start of October and Lakeland is determined to return The Villagers to their former glory.
He told The NLP: “Being manager of a club with such a distinguished history is a source of huge pride and I see it as my duty to get them back where they belong.
“We have built a sense of momentum over the past month and are now closing in towards the league leaders.
“We have had to get through some really tough fixtures and have already played everyone in the top 11, so I couldn’t be much happier with how things have gone so far.”
Lakeland is in his second campaign in charge at Throstle Nest after guiding Celtic to the play-offs last season, just a year after they secured promotion to Step 3.
His side suffered heartbreak, falling to Ashton United at the semi-final stage but Lakeland believes that The Villagers’ ability to immediately bounce back from that disappointment is testament to the mental strength of his players.
He added: “I came into the club in rather unusual circumstances because they had just got promoted. We could have kept things as they were but we decided to hit the ground running and made a lot of immediate changes.
“There was a big turnover of players that summer and we made sure that every person that came into the building had the characteristics to handle the pressure of playing for a big club like Farsley.
“I said from the minute that I started the job that the aim was to reach the play-offs last season. Some people thought that it was a bit over ambitious but I had complete confidence in the squad that we had recruited.
“We made very few changes this summer so the strong team spirit that we built up last year has remained. The fact that we have not suffered any hangover from losing in the play-offs shows how strong and determined this group is.”
A succession of impressive cup victories has seen Farsley accumulate a number of league games in hand over their promotion rivals and Lakeland is wary of the challenges that a potential fixture pile up could cause.
The Villagers boss, who took his side to Alfreton in the FA Trophy yesterday, continued, “We seemed to get knocked out pretty early on in most cup competitions last season but this year we have been much more successful.
“We are going to have to play the league games that we have missed at some point and we are quickly approaching the time of year when the weather begins to cause havoc.
“Hopefully the weather won’t cause as many problems as last year but whatever this season throws at us I have complete faith in the ability of my team.”
*This article originally featured in The @NonLeaguePaper which is available every Sunday and Monday for £1.50 in all good newsagents and supermarkets