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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 17:41 GMT
Farsley confirm full-time plans
By Pete Oliver

Farsley Celtic
Farsley Celtic plan to join the full-time ranks of the Blue Square Premier - provided they can maintain their non-league top-flight status.

Celtic are enjoying their first ever season at that level thanks to three promotions in the last four seasons.

But to progress further, manager John Deacey told BBC Sport that he believes the West Yorkshire club must go fully professional in the summer.

"If we stay up we will try and go full-time. I think we can," he said.

"The background of the club is excellent, we have got the training facilities to do it and we have the staff to do it now Steve Torpey has been added to the coaching team."

Of the half-dozen part-time teams in the Blue Square Premier, four are currently filling the bottom five places.

In my opinion it's worth 10 points, being full-time

Farsley boss John Deacey

And Deacey admits that training part-time around regular jobs - the squad currently gets together on a Monday and Wednesday night and a Thursday morning - has been Farsley's greatest handicap since going up.

"That's been the crux of it. In my opinion it's worth 10 points, being full-time," he said.

Farsley also have plans to improve their Throstle Nest ground and are contemplating a name change to incorporate Leeds in their title in a bid to gain further recognition and attract a greater fan base.

Maintaining their profile at the top tier of non-league football is therefore key.

"Getting promotion was magnificent but staying in there is more difficult. It would be a bigger achievement.

"We have got to stay up because I think the second season might be easier," added ex-Chesterfield midfielder Deacey, 48, who combines management with running his own car body shop business.

Celtic have a battle on their hands as they currently occupy the final relegation place.

But Deacey, who has been at Celtic for six years and in charge since stepping up from his position as assistant to replace Lee Sinnott following Sinnott's move to Port Vale in November, is embracing the challenge.

606: DEBATE

"We had a great time with Lee and I learned a lot," he said.

"And I have loved this. It was difficult to start with but I have got my teeth into and got some players that maybe I wanted to put in."

Among those are the vastly experienced Torpey, who signed from Lincoln City following a lengthy League career which included spells as a striker with Scunthorpe, Bristol City, Swansea and Bradford.

Defender George Santos has seen service with Sheffield United, QPR and Ipswich, while winger Rory Prendergast has played League football at Blackpool, Rochdale and York.

Steve Torpey
Former Scunthorpe striker Torpey has joined Deacey at Farsley
In addition, Deacey also brought in midfielder Scott Gardner and defender Craig Bentham on loan from Leeds and Bradford respectively during the transfer window.

He added: "We had to do that. We had to get some quality players in to blend with the young ones we've got.

"We've also got a big squad to cope with the demands of the league. The board backed us so we have to thank them for that. With 17 games to go we have to start producing results."

With little over a third of the season remaining, Deacey believes it is down to a three-horse race for one remaining relegation place with Northwich, Stafford and Droylsden all facing the drop.

And he is backing Celtic to finish as the winners.

"I think it's between Altrincham, ourselves and Weymouth," he said.

"And I still think we have got a great chance with the acquisitions we made in January.

"We can definitely do it if we build on the start we have made to 2008. We have tightened up defensively. We just need to start scoring a few at the other end."

SEE ALSO
Farsley unveil Deacey as manager
14 Dec 07 |  Farsley Celtic
Sinnott named new Port Vale boss
05 Nov 07 |  Port Vale
Prendergast plays as Farsley lose
06 Feb 08 |  Farsley Celtic
Farsley recruit Santos & Gardner
23 Jan 08 |  Farsley Celtic
Striker Torpey leaves Sincil Bank
07 Jan 08 |  Lincoln City
Farsley Celtic ponder name change
25 Jul 07 |  Farsley Celtic
Sinnott stunned at Celtic revival
15 May 07 |  Non League


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