Bradford League: Lee Goddard in no mood to panic over New Farnley’s slow start

Lee Goddard.
Lee Goddard.
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New Farnley captain Lee Goddard insists that no-one is panicking after a low-key start to the Bradford Premier League season for one of the title favourites.

Farnley, viewed by many observers as the team to beat in the top flight in 2019 along with Hanging Heaton, are third from bottom in the early standings ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Townville.

Dan Hodgson.

Dan Hodgson.

Goddard says that plenty of perspective needs to be afforded, with Farnley currently light in the seam bowling ranks with Andrew Brewster still making his way back from injury and former Yorkshire bowler Ajmal Shahzad having early-season commitments with the MCC.

Several youngsters are also being assimilated into the first team, with Goddard confident that the fruits of Farnley’s labours will arrive farther down the line.

Goddard, whose side edged past Townville in the Priestley Cup on Sunday, said: “It is very early days and no-one is panicking. We have not had a bad start, but just have not put a game together yet.

“We’ve done some good things and started off nicely with the bat against Hanging Heaton and against Townville, we also batted nicely for spells. There’s lots of positives.

It is very early days and no-one is panicking. We have not had a bad start, but just have not put a game together yet.

Lee Goddard

“We have got a fantastic dressing room and the camaraderie is some of the best we have had and we are probably just lacking a bit of experience in our bowling department at the moment and there is a lot of pressure on Alex Lilley.

“We are a little bit short in the middle and the seam bowling front because Brewster is injured and Ajmal (Shahzad) is not available at the minute due to work commitments.

“But we have some really good talent such as Sam Barraclough who played on Sunday and he has only been bowling left-arm spin for a year and has taken to it like a duck to water.

“We also have Billy Whitford from the second team and have brought in some youth and feel like we have a nice blend.”

Adam Waite.

Adam Waite.

Much has been made of Farnley’s headline off-season recruitment of top-order duo Dan Hodgson and Adam Waite, but Goddard believes any talk of the club using their resources to pick the cream of the crop is disingenuous, with the club investing wisely in a sustainable future based upon youth.

He added: “We’ve had a turnaround of players. I think a lot of people will focus on the incomings with Dan and Waitey, but we have had players leave such as Simon Lambert, Martin Andersson and Richard Atkins.

“We’ve decided to keep faith with the younger lads really and invest wisely with some experience at the top of the order.

“Put those two in our side and we have a very strong side. We also have got Max Law (son of former Australian Test player Stuart), who is our overseas player at 17 years old.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, the game of the day sees Woodlands host Hanging Heaton, while Farsley host early-season pacesetter Wrenthorpe.

Pudsey St Lawrence visit Undercliffe and Methley head to Bradford & Bingley. Cleckheaton welcome Lightcliffe.