ECCLESHILL United boss Lee Elam is looking forward to the return of fans for today’s home friendly with Farsley Celtic, and he hopes it goes a little better than the last time the Celts came to town.

The Eagles have confirmed that 150 fans will be allowed in to watch today, with track and trace in place and entry on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hopefully those that do get in will see a more competitive affair than they did at the start of last July.

Elam recalled: “It was meant to be my first game, but I was away on holiday, and it had all been arranged before I arrived.

“I had wanted to play certain players for half a game, so we rotated a lot, but they brought down a strong team and beat us 5-0.

“But I think we’re more ready and prepared for this one, as we’ve got five games under our belt.

“I think Farsley will bring a strong team again, but so will we.”

Eccleshill have won two of their five pre-season matches so far and Elam said: “It’s gone alright, we’ve had mixed results but I’m not bothered too much about that.

“I’ve now seen some of the lads we’ve brought in, given the young boys a chance and made sure some of the players have got the game time they needed.

“We’ve had a few trialists on show, we’ve got one coming back for this game against Farsley, and there’s one new face that will be playing too.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re getting it right now, because the FA Cup is coming up.”

Eccleshill host Silsden in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on September 1 and speaking about that game against their Bradford District rivals, Elam said: “It will be good to play Silsden.

“I used to play with (their manager) Danny Forrest at Harrogate and they have some of our ex-players too.

“With it being the FA Cup, it adds a bit more spice as well.

“It will be good to get back to competitive football, especially as we were planning for the league to start on September 5 and that’s been pushed back (to September 19).

“The FA Cup is a competition we want to do well in, so we’ll see how far we can go.”

Both the Farsley and Silsden games are set to go ahead in front of fans, with the latter potentially being in front of as many of 300 of them.

Asked about the return of spectators, Elam said: “I’m sure it will be good for the fans, club and players.

“People being back is just good for football.

“We’ve got all the measures in place, we have a compliance officer, we’ve got the right procedures and signs up, so it’s a safe environment for those coming in.

“We set it all up before we knew when fans could come back and we’ll continue to follow protocol before, during and after games.”

Campion and Silsden will also be welcoming fans back today, as they host Mossley AFC and Bradford (Park Avenue) respectively. The Silsden v Avenue game is an early kick-off, starting at 11am.

Brighouse Town are also at home, to Scarborough Athletic, but fans had to pre-book by 4:30pm yesterday afternoon in order to attend that clash.

Finally, Liversedge make the trip up to the North East to face Stockton Town. Only Stockton’s season card holders can attend that fixture.