West Yorkshire League: Giant signing Hall boosts Bardsey’s league treble bid

Beeston St Anthonys v Bardsey West Yorkshire League Premier Division sat 12th april 2014'Lee Turnbull of Beeston and Tom Lenaghan of Bardsey    '100393q picture Steve Riding
Beeston St Anthonys v Bardsey West Yorkshire League Premier Division sat 12th april 2014'Lee Turnbull of Beeston and Tom Lenaghan of Bardsey '100393q picture Steve Riding

Lee Barraclough says his champions Bardsey are “looking good” ahead of their bid to earn a hat-trick of West Yorkshire League titles.

Bardsey start their campaign away at Brighouse Old Boys on Saturday before welcoming Boroughbridge to Keswick Lane on Wednesday.

The Red and Blacks ran away with the Premier championship last campaign, after winning 23 of their 30 matches and finishing 11 points clear of Beeston St Anthony’s.

It was the second time in five years the Keswick Laners had retained the trophy.

But, Barraclough has yet to have a league treble on his CV and that is the focus for the players this season.

The gaffer has strengthened his ranks too, with Wetherby Athletic forward Roman Neal, former Ossett Town defender Craig Maynard and experienced central midfielder Craig Hackworth all arriving.

Micky Longfellow’s retirement has been Bardsey’s only departure.

Barraclough said “I am really looking forward to this year. To break this rut of winning it three years in a row.

“We also want to get the County Cup at Elland Road. That competition means so much to us.”

However, the boss acknowledged other sides would be gunning to bring them down even more than the last two years.

He added: “Teams just want to beat you and keep scores down. When you are the champions, other teams don’t try and get at you. It’s going to be another season where we have to go and break teams down.

“But I have a few tricks up my sleeve this year if teams do come and set up with four at the back and six in midfield.”

One of those might be Barraclough’s biggest signing, giant striker Mike Hall.

The six-foot-eight goal machine has joined from North West Counties outfit Silsden and will supplement an attack already containing Rob Dickinson and Danny Maw.

But, despite the striker’s humongous size, Barraclough said he expects the new recruit to threaten teams with his fancy skills rather than his heading ability.

“He’s better on the floor,” said the gaffer. “He’s a tidy footballer for a big lad and he is quick. He closes down the defenders really quickly because of the size of his stride.”