Welcome to Garstang
Thu 5th July 2018 | Garstang | By Ian Templeman
Garstang FC’s entry into the League comes after a number of years building towards making an application.
They join us having been automatically promoted as champions of the West Lancashire League, and after some hard work on their Riverside ground to bring it up to the required standard by the 31st March deadline.
But as Media Officer David Graham explained, the club has been working towards a step up for over ten years.
“The idea of joining ‘the Counties’ goes back to 2009 when Adrian Wilding returned to the club as Chairman”, said David.
“A lottery was started by Commercial Manager Les Taylor, with a view to raising the funds to improve the facilities at the club.
“The changing rooms were revamped and when Morecambe F.C. moved from Christie Park we bought the floodlights, seating, turnstiles, showers and dugouts.
“We put the floodlights up three years ago, but with things on the pitch only average, it was felt that we should remain in the West Lancashire League until we could start winning things.
“Then, the 2016/17 season saw manager Lee Baker, who had taken charge of the last few games of the previous season, bring in Neil Beesley as his assistant. This pair had been team mates when Garstang last won the West Lancashire League Premier Division in 2008.
“A good season followed, with the club finishing 3rd in the league and reaching a cup final, and this good form continued into the 2017/18 season.
“In December last year Lee and Neil asked the committee to consider applying for the NWCFL and having put forward a good case, it was agreed to submit the application.
“Some frantic maintenance work took place, with advice from the League and Charnock Richard, but the main work had been done and we met the ground standard by the end of March.
“As it turned out it was to be Garstang FC’s most successful season in their long history winning the league and cup double and runners up in the Lancashire Amateur Shield and so it seems an appropriate time to have made the move up”.
The club will maintain its long standing links with the West Lancashire League by fielding a reserve team in Division Two, and will also run an under 18 side in the Lancashire Sunday League.
But the first team focus is on the Hallmark Security League Division One North, and manager Lee Baker is eager to see how his squad will cope.
“Having seen the changes coming in, I wanted to have the opportunity to challenge this great set of lads at the next level”, he said.
“As it turned out I am sure it was the right decision and I thank the committee for having faith in us.
“Most of the squad are staying, so we will find out how good we are, and look forward to meeting new opposition.”
Club Chairman Adrian Wilding added: “There has been an awful lot of work from our committee over a long period of time to make this happen but I couldn’t be prouder of the achievements of our young managerial team.
“They deserve this shot at a higher level”.