Marshall wants bigger crowds to aid Garforth’s promotion bid

Toolstation NCEL Premier Division 

Garforth Town manager Paul Marshall

Paul Marshall wants local people to start turning out in force to bolster Garforth Town’s promotion bid ahead of the home clash with Staveley Miners Welfare tonight.

Garforth have never come close to returning to the Northern Premier League since relegation in 2013 until now as the club are sitting third in the Premier Division and unbeaten in ten games.

Despite having a team containing many previously unknown players, miracle worker Marshall has assembled the club’s best side since the glory-laden Simon Clifford era.

Crowds have been slowly going up and Marshall hopes attendances continue to rise.

“I think everyone (at the club) is riding on the crest of a wave with the way we are playing,” Marshall told Non League Yorkshire.

“We’re not the best team (in the league), we know that.

“We don’t have a big budget, we know that.

“But what the players have got is a big heart and they try their hardest.

“I want to be in the top three by Christmas and if we still are, then we have a chance (of promotion).

“We have four games at home in December and I want to build the crowds.

“We got 216 against Athersley on a poor day so I’m hoping we can improve them.

“There’s no better time to watch us.

“We have scored a goal in every game this season, we’re the only team in the league to do that.

“Defensively we’re getting stronger.

“We were aiming to get 200 (watching us) and I’m now looking to get 250.

“If we can keep improving it just makes the club more healthier. 

“Garforth is a bigger club than a lot of clubs in the Northern Premier League.”

Garforth Town defender Sam Denton
Garforth’s Hass Gorji

The most extraordinary aspect of Garforth’s form this season is that Marshall has relied so heavily on his ‘hidden gems’.

Star players Jed Zanos, Hass Gorji, Kevin Terhaerdt and to a certain extent top goal-scorer James Burgess are four of the players who are new names to followers of the NCEL.

Only Sam Denton, Toby Wells, Dan Coupland and Sam Leach have significant Step 5 experience.

Even Marshall agrees that on paper his side would have been written off in the summer.

“Mid-table lucky,” he said when asked what people would have said about his team before the season began.

“The players playing for me, nobody has heard of a lot of them.

“You have young Alex Zachariou who has come from Osbaldwick.

“You have Fergus (McAughtrie) who has been playing at Osbaldwick.

“Hass (Gorji) hadn’t been playing anyway (before joining us). 

“It would be a great achievement (if we get promoted) without a doubt.

“Where have Garforth been in recent years?

“Bottom eight on average because they didn’t have much of a budget.

“We have got a bit of a budget that I thank (owners) Brian (Close) and Craig (Bannister) for.

“Obviously you want more because I’d like to give the players more money but (the players) aren’t bothered, they work hard and get on with it.”

Garforth Town defender Jamie Barkway

Garforth last suffered defeat in the league on August 31st when they lost at Barton Town.

They have been without star defender Jamie Barkway for a lot of the ten game run and Marshall says his man is still a few weeks away from being fit.

“We’ve been missing Barky who has been our best defender this season and he’s been missing for three weeks,” he said.

“He’s going to be another three weeks because he has a groin injury.”

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