Farsley Celtic have beaten off some stiff competition to capture the signature of midfielder Tom Penford, who was released by Bradford City just two months ago.

Penford and Craig Bentham, who enjoyed a loan spell with Farsley last season despite their ultimate relegation from the Blue Square Premier, both made appearances for the Bantams during the campaign.

Celts chairman Andy Firbank said: "Tom is very well known locally, being a former Bradford City first-team player, and we are delighted that he has chosen to sign for us as we try to put a squad together that will help us bounce straight back up.

"There were a lot of clubs wanting to sign him, and why wouldn't they? He is a quality midfielder.

"Some other clubs in the area were in for him and, as far I understand, they are throwing money into their squads this season, but he still came to us.

"Hopefully he has done that because, like the other new signings, he sees the potential that is here at Throstle Nest.

"We have also re-signed Stephen Downes and Dominic Krief, who were also being chased by local clubs and some of last season's rivals in the Conference.

"Another pleasing signing is Matt James from Harrogate Railway. He came through the ranks here, so is a lad returning to his roots, you could say. He was developed at Farsley but has since moved on and grown elsewhere.

"We welcome that and welcome him back with open arms. Different experiences enrich the individual. Down the years players have gone somewhere for a season or two but then come back."

The management team at the Nest are still working hard behind the scenes to secure the players they want to retain. They are also improving the squad with such players as Penford.

They are on the look-out for forwards and are still being linked with Lee Ellington, brother of Bradford-born full-time pro Nathan.

Harrogate Town's Lee Wittington remains another source of constant rumour.