By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Leaving Scarborough Athletic to join Farsley is like moving from one family to another, according to Paddy Miller.
The 23-year-old left-sided player joined Farsley earlier this summer after two glory-laden years at Scarborough under the exuberant manager Rudy Funk.
Travelling and the transition of leaving university and moving into full-time employment were the reasons for why he decided to move on from Funk’s guidance and from his first encounter with the Scarborough boss.
“I played in a charity match for Brian France before he passed away and I met Rudy there for the first time,” Miller said.
“He was asking me to come and play and was hugging me and I thought this was someone who I kind of want to play for. He made you feel wanted.
“I was a bit taken aback by the hugging, but that is the way he is. He is like that with most players because once as you are in his squad he treats everyone like his family.
“You can ring him up, but once you get him on the phone, you’re on the phone for a while!
Photo courtesy of Ryan Clark of ClarkHirst Photography
“But Rudy is a genuinely nice guy, he’s kind of what you see is what you get, he wears his heart on his sleeve.
“He’ll do anything for you and once you’re playing for him, he’ll back you. He loves Scarborough.
“(In the dressing room) he’s a very emotional guy. He’s passionate so you know when you have done well and when you have not performed. He’s very charismatic and animated, but he loves his job there. Every single day he goes out watching different games.
“Under him and the way it has been, Scarborough have been very successful and hopefully it can keep going.”
Funk currently has the Scarborough eating out of the palms of his hands having led the reformed club to the Northern Counties East League Premier Division title last season.
Miller describes the season as the “best I have had in senior football” after Scarborough held off the brave fight of Brighouse Town to win the league with one game to go.
Two points was the final margin as Scarborough finished 99 points compared with Brighouse’s 97 and Miller calls the 2-0 victory at Brighouse on the third to last week as the “decisive moment”.
But, he also pays tribute to the fans and the senior players in Funk’s squad.
“We lost on the 6th October and we didn’t lose again until the last game of the season,” he said.
“The crowds turned out for us last season and wherever we went, there were massive crowds. I’ve never seen an atmosphere like it was at Brighouse. Fans were coming on the pitch and we hadn’t won the league. But it was in touching distance when we beat them and it was a great day.
“It was then a case of holding our nerve. We had a few young lads in the team, but then we had the experienced ones like Tony Hackworth and Denny Ingram, who are both ex-pros. The likes of Tony and Denny, they used to speak to all the lads and ring you up, just to check everything was alright. It kept you grounded a bit.
“Some of the games where it was close and we won by the odd goal, the fans did pull us through it.
“When we turned up at Brighouse, there must have been 600-700 fans and we were coming out, they were lined up clapping us and throwing confetti on the pitch. It does give you that extra ten per cent to just go and win it for them.
“I will remember the fans. There are not many non-league clubs in England have a fan-base like that and I think over time when Scarborough move back home, the crowds will increase. I made a lot of close friends with the fans and the majority of the playing staff.”
Miller made his debut for Farsley yesterday in the friendly with Leeds United and admits the Village team are the only club he wanted to play for after leaving Scarborough, who he describes as a “close-knit club”.
He didn’t even need to speak any other clubs as he was so impressed with the management team of Neil Parsley, Simeon Bambrook and Mark Jackson.
“Once the season had finished, I came up to speak to Neil and Jacko and I liked the direction that the club were going in,” He said.
“I liked the whole philosophy behind it, how they want to play football and how they are trying to build the club like a community club by getting their families involved. They want the ethos of the club so that everything is close knit. I liked that aspect of it.
“The club (Farsley) put on boot camps before pre-season and even at the first boot camp we had 14 lads. I wasn’t compulsory that you had to come so I thought straightaway that the group of lads that we have got here want to be successful.”
The focus is now on helping Farsley reach the Evo Stik Division One North play-offs, but what does he think the future hold for his old club.
“I’d love to see Scarborough keep working their way back up the leagues,” he said.
“The fans deserve it as they started the club up from scratch. They have built it up and the way it is going, it is looking bright.
“It took a while to get out of the NCEL, but it is a hard league to get out of because it is a bit of a bottleneck at the top. With how it is going and the ambition they have got, there is no reason what they can’t get back where they belong.”