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John Deacey's return to Farsley will give friendly an edge
Bradford Park Avenue’s preparations for the new season continue on Saturday when they make the short trip to Throstle Nest to take on Farsley.
It promises to be a stern test for John Deacey’s men as Farsley beat Avenue’s Blue Square Bet North Division rivals Guiseley last Saturday.
However, such are the vagaries of pre-season that Farsley were humbled in their next game by a team of lower-league standing.
Neil Parsley’s Evo-Stik Division One North squad were beaten 3-1 at Nostell MW after conceding three sloppy first-half goals.
On the plus side for Farsley, close-season signing Adam Priestley was on the scoresheet for second time in three games.
Avenue, however, had no such problems in their last run-out.
They fired a dozen past Selby Town, who were relegated from the Northern Counties East League Premier Division last season after dwelling in the basement for the whole of the campaign.
The opposition may not have been the best but Bradford looked very lively and had a more settled side as Deacey has begun trimming his squad in readiness for the coming season. They also had seven men on target in their 12-1 win.
Striker Danny Holland has settled in well following his move from FC Halifax Town to new rivals Avenue - they joined the Shaymen in the lower tier of the Conference League after tasting play-off glory last May.
Holland fired four against Selby, while former Huddersfield Town man Simon Baldry, who has returned for a second spell with Avenue, grabbed a hat-trick.
Alex Davidson, Jamie Jackson, Nathan Hotte, Richard Marshall and club captain Rob O’Brien all chipped in with one apiece.
Saturday's friendly has an edge as it will be Deacey’s first return to Throstle Nest as manager of an opponent since he was removed from the hot seat as boss of the old Farsley Celtic.
Deacey was No 2 to former Bradford City and Huddersfield Town defender Lee Sinnott as the old club reached the dizzy heights of the Conference Premier.
When Sinnott was head-hunted by then League One outfit Port Vale, Deacey took over at a very difficult time for the Celts.
He will be looking forward to a return, albeit in the away dug out, and the Farsley faithful should give him a good reception given what he did for the original club.