Words: Thomas Ritchie. Additional Reporting: John Baron
Farsley Celtic manager Adam Lakeland and assistant manager Mark Bett have both signed two-year contract extensions to remain with the club.
The pair joined Farsley in 2017, reaching the Northern Premier League play-offs and winning the West Riding County Cup in their first season at the Citadel, before leading the club to the Northern Premier League title the following season.
Since promotion, Lakeland and Bett have guided the Celt Army to back-to-back 11th place finishes in the National League North, with both campaigns, unfortunately, curtailed early due to COVID-19.
Chief Executive Josh Greaves welcomed the development. He said:
“We’re delighted that Adam and Mark have decided to stay on at the club for another two years.
“They’ve been great assets since joining us, helping us win promotion to the National League North, and it’s just a shame they’ve not had two decent years.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in a full season at this level when we’re back to normal.”
Adam Lakeland said:
“It was a bit of a no brainer to extend my stay really, obviously I’ve enjoyed four seasons at the club now, and we’ve worked really hard to get to the level that we’re at.
“It’s been disappointing that our two seasons in the National League North have both been cut short when we were in healthy positions, but clearly it’s been a challenging year for everybody.
“Now we look like we’re coming out the other side, and I’m really excited to try and kick on and try and continue the progression of the club on the pitch.
“Off the pitch, I feel like the club’s come a long way despite everything that’s been going on in the world over the last 12 months, and I do feel the club has made a hell of a lot of headway in that time, and there’s a lot of excitement around the club.
“It’s a challenge that me and Bettsy (Mark Bett) and the rest of the staff are really excited about, and we’re delighted that we can continue our work at Farsley.”
Reflecting on the two seasons the club has played at this level so far, Lakeland continued:
“We had a little bit of a bad start at the start of this season, but for a club that’s been the favourites to get relegated two seasons in a row we’ve never looked in danger of that.
“I think that’s a great credit to the players and staff really, we’ve managed to hold our own and be competitive in what is a very, very difficult and strong league.
“As I’ve said countless times, we back ourselves, we trust one another and we’re ambitious, we want to continue trying to evolve and improve, and that’s the challenge for us going into next season.
“The initial plan will be to retain the players who we feel can help us achieve our goals next season, and we envisage that being the majority of the existing group.
“I think where we will end up will depend on what we can add to that group, more in terms of quality as opposed to quantity.
“We will be looking to recruit players who can come in and certainly make the eleven stronger, and that’s where the focus and efforts will be now over the coming months.”
Farsley Celtic were recently fined £4,200 by the National League North for refusing to play three games while the future of last season was being decided.
The club also has a suspended two points per game deduction, totalling six points, on the 2021/22 season. There has been a 30% deduction on the fine per match due to the club accepting the charges.
The league campaign effectively ground to a halt in February when a number of clubs decided against playing matches amidst uncertainty about funding. Although a decision was subsequently taken to end the season, clubs have now been fined for not playing those fixtures.
Chief Executive josh Greaves said:
“The club and I were expecting these fines, but must say not to the extent that we have been charged. The decision to not fulfil these fixtures was not an easy choice for myself and the board, however, it was a decision that we stand by.”