Midfielder Ryan Watson is looking forward to getting back into action against Rushall Olympic on Saturday.

Ryan will be back in the first team squad for the first time since his red card against Gloucester on 23 December – and says he was ‘gutted’ to miss last week’s game against his old club Scarborough, Scunthorpe at home and the 0-0 draw at Curzon.

“It’s a physical league and and it’s important to have that physicality in your side, particularly in midfield,” Ryan says. “I am physical player but nowadays the limitations are becoming more apparent, and players seem to be coming under more scrutiny from referees.

“It’s been a blow to miss those matches, but I’ve been working hard in training so when I come back I am ready, if I’m called upon.”

Ryan Watson challenges for Farsley Celtic. Photo: Ivor Hughes

Ryan, who is looking to re-establish himself in the team and is renowned for being a good finisher, says he’s on the look out for more goals to add to his tally of two as the campaign enters its ‘business end’.

“I’ve been playing in different positions,” he said. “Sometimes you have to fill in here and there so I  haven’t always been able to get forward as much. As long as you are helping the team, that’s the main thing. But I would like to add some more goals and kick on!”

Ryan appears to have settled back into life at The Citadel in his second spell at the club.

Ryan Watson bossing midfield. Photo: Ivor Hughes

“Farsley has always been my club,” says midfielder Ryan, who rejoined The Celts last summer. “I’ve always had a lot of friends here, and I live close by. Skipper Chris Atkinson is my best friend.

“There were a lot of changes at the club during the summer, from the players all the way up to management team. I spoke to [director of football] Pav and he wanted me back and I never really gave it a second thought. I wanted to come back.

“It took us a little time to gel because it was a new group, but we’ve bonded now, new friendships have been made and you can see that showing in our performances.

“The mindset at the club has also changed. Since we got into this league we always seemed to be looking down and fighting against relegation, but now we are looking above us. The mindset from the management team is that we should be looking up and challenging, particularly with the squad we have got. That’s been really positive.

“The players believe in what we are doing. For the rest of the season we are looking to challenge in the top half of the table—that’s how the mentality has changed.

“We’ve been finding our rhythm recently and taking points off some of the top teams. We have probably had too many draws. If we can turn some of those into wins then I’m really confident we can challenge in the top half of the table and maybe sneak into the playoffs.”