Words: Thomas Ritchie
Additional reporting: John Baron
Bottom club Farsley Celtic have announced the appointment of Russ Wilcox as men’s first team manager.
The 57-year-old had a lengthy playing career, beginning in the non-league ranks with Frickley Athletic, before going on to play professionally for Northampton Town, Hull City, Doncaster Rovers, Preston North End and Scunthorpe United.
It was at Scunthorpe where Wilcox had his first permanent role in management, winning promotion to League One at the first time of asking in 2014. He’s also been an assistant manager at Premier League club Burnley.
He is The Celts, third manager of the season and takes over from Neil Ross, who stepped down last week.
After taking charge at the Citadel, Wilcox said:
“It’s a great opportunity for me to get back managing. It’s been a while, I’ve had a few caretaker roles at Scunthorpe, but I’m itching to get back.
“The process has been good from Farsley’s point of view, they’ve been very professional with everything they’ve done leading up to this announcement, so I can’t wait to get started now.
“I’m going to meet the lads tonight, have our first training session, we’ll train again Thursday and then be ready to go for a difficult game Saturday.
“It’s going to be a tough ask, we’re bottom of the league at the moment, so we can’t go any lower.
“I’m going to try and instil some positivity back into the players, I’ve been there myself as a player when you go through a bad run, it’s very difficult at times to get out of it, you’ve just got to keep working hard and grafting away.
“I’ll be tough with the boys as well, I’ll expect good standards. Even though we’re not full-time, I still want everybody to be as professional as they possibly can, hard working with good attitudes and good application.
“Now it’ll be about doing the basics well, I think that’s been the downfall. I’ve seen a couple of videos of previous games, and it’s getting the basics right, being good in both boxes, being energetic, hardworking, and grafting for the shirt.
“As a Yorkshireman myself, that’s what the Yorkshire people want to see, they want to see a lad pull his shirt on and give everything for the cause and I’ll demand that from the players.”
Farsley Celtic Chief Executive Josh Greaves welcomed the appointment and added:
“After last Thursday’s departure of Neil Ross, myself and the rest of the board have sat down and had a number of discussions over the last few days, and Russ Wilcox’s name has come up to us.
“We had a conversation with Russ, and we were impressed with the CV and calibre of manager he is.
“We’re actually really pleased to have got this over the line, it’s taken a couple of days to do so, and I’m pleased we’ve got it sorted and can move on into a new chapter, we’ve had a tough few months and we’ve just got to keep our heads up and keep moving forwards now.”