SILSDEN joint-manager Matt Cavanagh insists it has been a “disappointing season” for the first team, despite them being competitive on all fronts.

The Northern Counties East League Premier Division play-offs were in reach for a while, until an awful run of form at the turn of the year, while there were impressive runs to the NCEL League Cup quarter-final and the last-32 of the FA Vase.

But Cavanagh knows just how capable his side, who finished 10th in the league, are, and said: “We had some really good moments this season, but some that just weren’t good enough.

“The key word is consistency and we need to find that to progress.

“We took a lot of points off the top six in the league this season, but lost plenty of games to sides much lower down in the table.

“We have to get that mentality of being consistent right and it’s something we need to address for next season.”

Asked if it was all in the mind, rather than ability, why Silsden had not hit the heights Cavanagh was hoping for in 2023/24, he reflected: “If I knew the answer, we wouldn’t have lost as many games as we did.

“We need to have the right attitude because I know we’ve got the group of players to hurt teams, including (top two) Emley and Campion.

We had a successful FA Vase run too, it was the furthest we’d ever gone in it, and we were competitive in all competitions, but the league is our bread and butter and we wanted to finish as high as possible.

“With the group of players we put together, we should have done better, so I’d say it was a disappointing season overall.

“We’ll still be looking to keep the nucleus of this year’s group for next season, but we’ll see which direction we decide to go in in terms of retention and recruitment.”

Away from the first team, and Silsden have plenty of reasons for cheer, not least after brilliantly playing host to a charity match between Bradford City Legends and Leeds United Legends on Sunday.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dean Windass on the ball in the Legends match between Bradford City and Leeds at Silsden on Sunday.Dean Windass on the ball in the Legends match between Bradford City and Leeds at Silsden on Sunday. (Image: Linda Gartland.)

They also very kindly agreed to help out Barnoldswick Town with their pitch problems, hosting the Lancashire side’s home league game with Burscough last month.

Cavanagh said: “You can judge success in so many ways.

Emley have got so much right on the pitch and were deserved champions, which is what we want too.

“But you can look at other areas with us as well.

“We’ve got a great set up, with things like a competitive West Yorkshire League side.

“They’ve produced three players for our first team this season, none of whom struggled with the step up to the Northern Counties.

“Our ladies side are doing well too, as is the junior and girls set up we have at the club.

“All of that’s on top of the fantastic facilities here, which I think are the best in the area.

“Our volunteers work so hard and it means we get events like Sunday, where lots of people came down to watch a brilliant game.

“Silsden is such a well-run club and we’re happy with where we’re at on that front, but we have to match that on the pitch with the first team now.”