Campion making big strides – Mitchell

Campion assistant manager Marcus Mitchell

Campion’s status as a leading Toolstation NCEL Division One club underlines the progress made in three years, according to assistant manager Marcus Mitchell.

The Bradford-based side are ticking off their latest milestone today when they visit City of Liverpool for the club’s first ever FA Cup tie.

Campion joined the NCEL in 2016 from the now defunct West Riding County Amateur League and have become one of the league’s most progressive clubs.

They finished second last season – but not promoted because of the ongoing restructuring – and Mitchell says opponents are now raising their game for Campion.

“It (four promotion spots) makes it harder than last year and more teams will think they have half a chance,” Mitchell told Non League Yorkshire.

“Those who finished around sixth and seventh will think if they have a good kick at it that they’ll have a good chance at finishing in the top four.

“I think we can give it a good go again. There’s a different pressure for us this year. Last year we were predicted to finish 15th and below.

“Now everyone will be looking for us. We’re a scalp now. We’ve gone from just being another team in the league to people saying ‘we’ve got Campion, it is going to be a hard game and if we win it will be a scalp’.

“We have to get used to that. But it does show just how far the club have come in three or four years.

“The work gone on behind the scenes by the likes of Shep (Andy Shepherd), James (Bicknell) and a lot of others has been fantastic. The club is progressing really well.”

Campion missed out on winning the Division after losing the final day winner-takes-all clash at Grimsby Borough. A draw would have been good enough to send them up, but Grimsby won 4-2 to win promotion.

“It took me a week or two to get over it to be honest,” he said.

“It was devastating because there was a whole year’s work there and it was gone in 90 minutes.

“For it to go to the last game at Grimsby as well, it was soul-wrenching and gut-busting.

“We knew at the start of the season what the deal was, but to get so close, it does hurt.

“There was hope with the points-per-game ratio thing, but we worked out that we didn’t have enough points. We knew once the final whistle went at Grimsby we wouldn’t be going up.

“I’ve had some bad days in football and that is one of them. We were in such a good position as well.”

One of the bigger Non League stories in Yorkshire during the summer was the appointment of former Harrogate Railway and Ossett Town boss Lee Ashforth as joint manager.

Ashforth managed Clitheroe in the BetVictor last season and Mitchell said: “The way he is and how he sets things up is slightly new to me so I’m learning a lot.

“I’m taking on board a lot of things.

“He’s got a lot of experience of managing and playing higher up.

“He’s got a lot of contacts and I think he’s going to be a big asset to Campion. Bringing him in is a massive coup for the club.”

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