By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Farsley AFC manager Neil Parsley has promised “big changes” as he prepares to rebuild his side for next season in the Evo Stik Division One North.
Parsley, who has been confirmed as the club’s manager for next season, looks set to clear the decks at Throstle Nest after a planned assault on the league title failed to materialise and Farsley were left languishing in mid-table.
A number of long-standing players departed during the season and more are likely to follow as Parsley is determined to repair the broken morale at the club – mainly caused by just two league wins since the turn of 2013.
Preparations for next season have already started with the recruitment of Robbie O’Brien (pictured above) who captained the side for the final few acts of the campaign and Parsley said: “I have been thinking about next season for the last eight weeks.
“Saturday was our last fixture and it does not stop for me, Sim and Jacko. We have players to speak to about leaving the club and players to speak to and try and sell the club.
“We have pre-season training to sort out along with budgets, friendlies, it doesn’t stop for us.
“What I will say is that there will be a lot of changes at Farsley AFC.
“This season we haven’t been successful. We achieved our goal last year of reaching the play-offs.
“I know for a fact that the club want to get in the play-offs, minimum, next year. That is what we will try and assemble a side over the summer to achieve.”
Farsley exited the FA Cup early and the play-offs were almost out of reach by the New Year.
A brief recovery appeared on the horizon in January, but three defeats on the spin in mid-February put pay to their top five hopes.
But, Parsley, who praised the club’s board, declined to blame individuals for the season’s failures.
“I’m not going to make excuses, we haven’t been good enough – simple as that,” he said.
“Whether that be players, management, it is not the football club. The football club is still the same as it was last summer. It is very soundly-run by honest people who are doing well at what they’re doing.
“(Chairman) John (Palmer) and I speak regularly and I am fortunate to work for such a guy who is knowledgeable and has the football club at heart. Although I don’t take for granted that I am not a fixture here, I don’t take anything for granted, especially after the second half of the season we have had.
“On the football field I have assembled and represent a team that has not been good enough and that is the way I see it.”
As Parsley admits, the last six games were fairly torturous for Farsley supporters.
Parsley was leading an injury-hit team, heavily filled with the club’s youngsters to places such as Skelmersdale United and New Mills where three-or-four-nil beatings were handed out.
And the Farsley manager agrees that it was hard to take, considering the amount of success that the club has had in the last decade.
“This season has been very difficult, particularly the second half of it,” he said.
“It is not often that I say that I’m glad the season has ended, but I am because we have been going to games of late and realising that we were not competitive against some of the stronger sides.
“I think from the supporter’s perspective, it hurts because this club has never had that, especially in the last ten years. It has always been massively competitive, with Lee Sinnott and John Deacey with what they did and even ourselves when the chips were down in the Conference North with minus ten points.
“For whatever reason, I’m not going to have a go at individuals or any players, the changes we made last summer, haven’t worked. After Christmas, injuries and players leaving to go to other clubs, has made us a force not to be reckoned with and it has been a shock to the system.”