By Matt Badcock
Nathan Cartman says Farsley Celtic are putting in the work they hope will take them further than last season’s play-off semi-final.
The Villagers had their Evo-Stik Premier promotion dreams ended by league runners-up Ashton United, who went on to book their place at Step 2 by beating Grantham Town in the final.
But there was plenty to be positive about for Adam Lakeland’s side and striker Cartman says there is a determination to build on the 2017-18 campaign.
The 28-year-old moved to Throstle Nest permanently in November from Darlington following an earlier loan spell.
He was a big part of the Quakers’ title win the season they won the Step 3 division and he would love to help Farsley get back up another level.
“With Darlo we won the Evo-Stik Premier first time and there are a few lads here who have won the league,” Cartman told The NLP. “The experience those lads bring to the team with the younger lads coming through helps massively with where we want to be.
“Experience is massive. I think that shone through towards the end of last season. Going Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, with the odd Thursday thrown in, helped pull the younger lads through, That togetherness really helps.
“Sometimes there’s a hangover and we want to have a bright start. We’ve got a tough start – Warrington away, South Shields at home but you’ve got to beat the teams at the top if you want to be there or thereabouts at the end. It’s up to us to put the hard work in and progress into the season.”
Farsley were playing in Non-League’s top tier a little over a decade ago before slipping down the Pyramid.
In 2016-17, they won promotion through the Evo-Stik North play-offs before last season’s top five finish.
The Evo-Stik Premier looks set to offer up another enthralling campaign with Step 4 arrivals like South Shields, Scarborough Athletic, Hyde, Basford United and Alvechurch all strengthening the division.
“The club has been in the Conference and Conference North in the past so it’s big enough but at the minute we’re here,” Cartman said. “Last season and the season before they’ve had a taste of the play-offs which we’d like to have again, if not be winners.
“The league’s only got stronger with South Shields and Scarborough coming up and Gainsborough coming down, but you want that. It gives you extra motivation to beat the best in the league.”
Cartman finished the season well with ten goals in nine games during the run-in that took his tally in all competitions to more than 20.
He revealed a public dressing down from Lakeland kick-started that form and Cartman knows exactly what the boss expects.
“He’s a good coach, a good manager,” Cartman said, “He likes to play football but if you need to win the ugly way he’ll change it. He’s honest; if he’s not happy he’ll tell you and if he is he’ll put his arm around you and tell you.
“That’s how I like managers, to be honest. If I’m not pulling my weight I want them to tell me.”