Nelson wouldn’t rule out return to the dugout

Farsley Celtic under 23s and academy technical director Les Nelson

Former Goole AFC joint manager Les Nelson wouldn’t rule out a return to the dugout, but he’s in no rush as he’s currently loving his job as technical director of Farsley Celtic’s under 23s and elite academy.

West Yorkshire-based Nelson made the comments when questioned on the subject in an interview with Non League Yorkshire about his new role with Farsley.

Nelson left Goole in October to join Farsley after almost a year at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds where he did an excellent job to stabilise a struggling side.

Prior to Goole, he enjoyed a meteoric rise in management due to glory-laden spells at West Yorkshire League outfit Whitkirk Wanderers and Leeds Sunday League giants Seacroft. 

“If the right local opportunity came along then it is something I would think about,” Nelson told Non League Yorkshire.

“Lockdown for me personally; I’ve definitely missed the management side of it – being manically busy talking to players and planning sessions.

“I’ve managed for so many years and coming out of it (at Goole) and then because of covid, I’ve realised I have missed it.

“But I’m not actively seeking anything because I’m really enjoying what I’m doing with Farsley.” 

His move to Farsley reunited him with his long-term associate Lutel James, the ex-Bury striker. 

The pair were joint managers of Goole and Whitkirk together and James holds the role of academy director with Farsley. 

Former Halifax Town, Macclesfield Town and Bradford (Park Avenue) striker Neil Ross is the manager of the under 23s and academy.

Whilst explaining his job description, Nelson also outlines the success stories so far.

“It (joining Farsley) was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” he said.

“I support the academy managers and guide them with any issues they have or coaching advice they require. 

“It also involves player recruitment. Like all National League clubs we get inundated with requests from players to come down and train so it is down to me analyse them and work out if they are the right for the club and how we can we develop them.

“It is also about player placement. There is a lot of players in the academy who can confidently compete, in my opinion, in NCEL Division One and the Premier. 

“We’re working with a number of clubs at the minute to place players on the basis that they are going to get actual experience and not just be sat on a bench.

“So we are looking to make sure every player gets to showcase themselves in semi-professional leagues. That also lets (first team manager) Adam (Lakeland) know that the lads can handle themselves at first team level and can knock on his door and say ‘come and have a look at us’. 

“Some of the players involved with Farsley under 23s elite include Reggie Waud who is at Goole. He plays in the elite games.

“You have Jayden Sandhu who is at Goole. Jake Boyd is another, he’s at Rossington Main.

“These are just some of the examples so 100% we have had success getting players in at clubs.”

The lockdown has stopped the academy playing fixtures and even training, but Nelson believes the Farsley scholarship has a lot to offer.

“Obviously because of the lockdown things are very limited for us, but (manager) Neil Ross and his coaches are doing an excellent job in difficult circumstances to provide the fitness and educational parts for the players,” he said.

“But we are definitely an attractive proposition for young players.

“What we want to do is offer educational opportunities as any scholar programme.

“But what we also want to do is make sure we fulfil their absolute potential.

“Success to us is getting them playing either semi-professional football, professional football, but the main aim is for them to knock on Adam’s door.”

If you have enjoyed reading Non League Yorkshire over the past few months, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page. There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.

NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams. When we properly return to ‘action’, our work will play an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.

We have six teams, a mixture of Junior and Adult teams – Nostell MW DFC, Pontefract Pirates, Selby Disability Football Club and the South Yorkshire Superheroes (Barnsley) – across Yorkshire.

We have enjoyed great success over the past three years. Several of our players have represented Mencap GB in Geneva, including Billy Hobson from Selby and Greg Smith, whose story is quite inspiring.

You can learn more about the organisation HERE and on our Facebook page.

Watch the video below to see highlights from our three years as an organisation. The video was produced for our players at the end of March to remind them of good memories from the last three years.

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