Silsden seek cover for frenetic run-in

Keighley News: Silsden skipper James Nettleton, right, is set to join neighbours Barnoldswick Town Silsden skipper James Nettleton, right, is set to join neighbours Barnoldswick Town

Silsden assistant boss Paul Schofield admits squad strengthening is difficult as he looks to boost numbers for a hectic second half of the season.

The Cobbydalers face a congested run-in, having had ten out of their last 17 games postponed as the fixture list continues to be hit by winter weather.

A number of players have already been snapped up by the new management duo of Andy Geary and Schofield but skipper James Nettleton is set to join Andy Lee in making the switch to neighbours Barnoldswick Town.

The Silsden number two said: “We are under no illusions that attracting players is not easy at this stage of the season. Everybody is in the same boat.”

Former players Matthew Bland and Michael Rosser have re-signed for the club, while ex-Padiham striker Dan Stubberfield and goalkeeper Jordan Watson have joined the ranks.

And the search is on for more, with the Cobbydalers faced with 20 league games to play in 13 weeks.

Schofield added: “If you are playing local level football you might have about 12 or 13 games left but at North West Counties League level you might have 22 or 23 games.

“We are asking the lads to play a lot of games and we will keep looking and keep asking to try and get some extra bodies in as cover.

“We will have a lot of night matches and some lads work shifts.”

Last weekend’s postponement at Ashton Athletic was the fifth since Geary and Schofield took over from Chris Reape just before Christmas but Silsden are hoping the wet weather clears up in time for their home fixture with Glossop North End on Saturday to go ahead.

It has meant a frustrating start for the pair but Schofield is thrilled to be back at Silsden – and in particular the Angel Telecom Stadium.

He joined the club the year they won the Craven Premier League and went on to enjoy West Riding County Amateur League and County Cup success while they still played at Keighley Road in the town.

But joining the non-league pyramid meant they had to move to Cougar Park and Schofield – who managed the club during their spell in Keighley – said: “In my previous time I never got to experience a North West Counties League game at home in Silsden. Moving to Cougars was the right move at the time but it took a lot out of you.

“You were in effect shipping a whole club – the committee, the players, the stewards – out and then shipping it back again. They were great facilities at Cougar Park and enabled us to play in the FA Vase and the FA Cup, which were fantastic times.

“But it definitely took its toll on me. It’s great to be back in Silsden now.”

Schofield added that a decision on who would take the skipper’s arm band had yet to be decided.

Danny Husband took on the role in Nettleton’s absence against Maine Road.

Schofield said: “Danny has played at UniBond level and we have one or two other experienced characters such as Kevin Ryan and Mike Garrod.”

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