Farsley Celtic face newly promoted Rushall Olympic on Saturday on the opening day of the 2023/24 season.
It’s back to business for the Celts as Clayton Donaldson’s new look Farsley make the trip to the West Midlands to take on Rushall Olympic who earned promotion to the National League North in the 2022/23 season after winning the Southern League Premier Division Central playoffs.
Farsley will be looking to get off to a winning start after a steady pre-season which saw plenty of new faces arrive at The Citadel as well as some familiar ones, combined with a new-look management team consisting of Clayton Donaldson and Danny Ellis being joined by existing coaches at the club in Tom Morgan and Gareth Liversidge.
The Celts most recently faced local rivals Guiseley AFC in their final match of pre-season at Nethermoor Park which finished 1-1 after Ryan Watson’s stunning free-kick was cancelled out by Kallan Murphy’s second half equaliser.
With each match of pre-season, Donaldson’s side have been growing in confidence as well as gelling together which has seen an upturn in performances both collectively and individually.
Emerging Talent Squad player Joao Silva in particular has impressed, getting on the scoresheet against Brighouse Town and York City. The Portuguese prospect will now be looking to make his mark in the National League North.
Our hosts on Saturday enjoyed a very successful 2022/23 season, as they managed to earn promotion to the National League North for the first time in club history. It will therefore be a special occasion at Dales Lane, with Rushall looking to mark their first match at this level with all three points.
Rushall most recenlty faced Southern League Premier Division Central members Leamington Town in a friendly where they lost out 2-0, however they have still enjoyed a successful pre-season with wins over the likes of Stourbridge, Hednesford Town, West Bromwich Albion XI, Walsall Wood and Birmingham City XI.
Farsley Head Coach Clayton Donaldson shared his thoughts ahead of the fixture, saying: “The group is as ready as they can be. All the preparations are just about there, the games have given me the opportunity to see the players and to try a few things out also.
“On a personal note, I’m very excited to take charge of my first competitive league game which will make me so proud but a lot of blood sweat and tears have gone into this.”
Donaldson also provided an update on the state of the squad in terms of injuries, saying: ” In terms of injuries, we have a few that have been out for a couple of weeks but they seem to be recovering well and hopefully they’ll be able to be with the squad sooner rather than later.”
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