FARNWORTH will have its first semi-professional club in the next few years if its top amateur team realise their ambitions.
Jason Tyldesley started up Farnworth Town to give the 18-year-olds he had managed through their teens the chance to continue playing together.
Seven years later they have three teams and are looking to start a fourth as they aim to give the town a team to be proud of.
“We’re looking to put Farnworth on the map,” said Tyldesley.
“It’s crazy a town of this size doesn’t have a semi-professional team.
“Down the road at Atherton they have three and that’s a smaller town than Farnworth.”
Farnworth Town are in their second season in the Lancashire Amateur League Second Division.
They narrowly missed out on promotion last season and are involved in a tight-looking battle to go up again.
Tyldesley, who has been nominated by Manchester FA to attend a Career in Football seminar in April, believes the club can go from strength to strength once they get out of this division.
“We almost got promoted last year when we finished third, level on points with the team that finished second,” he said.
“It’s a hard league to get out of because all the new teams get put in there and so there are some really strong teams.
“Once you get out of it you can go on and do well in the division above as the two teams who were promoted last season are showing.
“We’re looking to get out of this one, but it won’t be easy. There’s five teams up there and it’s quite tight at the moment.
“The aim is to get out of this division and go all the way to the Premier and then see where we can go from there.”
They currenly play at Harper Green School, but have ambitions to get their own ground as part of their plans to climb into the semi-professional ranks at some stage in the future.
“We’ve had discussions about getting our own facilities,” said Tyldesley.
“The club has really grown since we started and continues to grow.
“We have so many players and more wanting to play for us.
“We have a big catchment area and no amateur clubs in the town so there’s a real gap in the market. We want to fill that gap and give Farnworth a club to be proud of.
“I founded the team to give players a chance to carry on playing into open-age football.
“I ran the team at Ringley Park Rangers in the Bolton and Bury Junior League. When they got to 18 we did the league and cup double but that was the last year they could play together.
“So I started Farnworth Town so they could carry on. I thought it was important because football can do so much for youngsters. It can stop them going off the straight and narrow and give them something positive.
“We started in the Wigan League then moved to the LAL two years ago.
“We were inundated with players so we started a second team, then a third and we’ve still got too many so we’re thinking of setting up a fourth team.
“We also get well supported by people locally. We get 40 people coming down to watch us and we’re thinking about doing a programme for home games.
“We’ve got some good players and a good club and I think once we start moving up the leagues we could keep going up.
“To be honest, we’d be in a much better position to go up this season if I hadn’t made a mistake at the start of the season.
“I made changes to the team which only let in 22 goals last season and we let in more than that in the first five games.
“I changed it back after that by bringing back our holding midfielder Anthony Staines and old head at the back Gary Groocock and we have only let in two goals in the last nine games.
“We are also in the last eight of the Manchester County Cup and if we can beat Middleton from the Manchester Saturday Morning League – who have only lost one game in two years – we will have an away tie at Maine Road who are top of the NW Counties League Premier Division.”