Clitheroe boss promises all-action display against Shakers
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The Blues were nominated for the Pitching In Northern League Team of the Week for their stunning 2-0 win over National League North Spennymoor Town.
And now the Blues face a potential banana skin on Saturday, when they host FA Cup debutants and phoenix club Bury AFC in the third qualifying round.
The Step 4 club have never got past this stage in the world’s oldest football competition, and player-manager Priestley is not taking ninth-tier Bury lightly.
“We can’t keep our take off the gas,” said Priestley. “We need to go in full throttle and not take anything for granted.
“They’re a league below us but they’re not a team we can just walk over. They’re not going to bow down to us.
“They’ve got some good players playing for them. I watched AFC Bury v Lancaster the other day and they looked the better team.”
Cameron Lancaster and Sefton Gonzales gave Clitheroe the shock win in the second qualifying round, and Priestley was just as surprised as anyone.
“You’re hoping for it but you’re not expecting it. I don’t think any of the fans would’ve expected it either. I knew Spennymoor wouldn’t be taking it lightly,” said Priestley.
“I thought I knew they’d come prepared. I don’t think it worked for them and it was just one of those days. They weren’t firing and we played unbelievably.”
The defender took over the hotseat last season and has been joined by former Bolton youth coach Kyle Hall this term, and the 33-year-old is loving the new experience.
Priestley said: “It wasn’t my plan to go into management so early, but I couldn’t turn it down, the opportunity to take over a good club and help them get promotion.
“I’m enjoying it. It’s a good team. I didn’t want to let somebody come in and bring five, six new players in and change it drastically. It didn’t really need that.
“We’re looking good now, we’ve got everyone positive and doing the right things and we’re just going to keep the ball rolling.”
Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million-pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: https://entaingroup.com/sustainability/pitching-in/