Frickley eyeing possible push for a play-off place

Frickley manager Karl Rose.
Frickley manager Karl Rose.

Frickley Athletic have the chance to boost their hopes of reaching the play-offs this Saturday when they travel to play Barwell, who are in sixth place in the Evo-Stik Premier League.

With a game in hand, the Blues stand seven points behind Barwell and if they are able to cut the gap with a victory it would help to inspire confidence that they can produce a push for the end of season play-offs, for which they have to finish in the top five.

With home and away games to follow against fifth-placed Stourbridge and home matches with eighth-placed Ashton United and seventh-placed Nantwich Town also in the next month, the next five games will go a long way to deciding the fate of Rose’s men.

They go into the testing spell pleased that in their last eight games they have won six and drawn one so should not lack for confidence.

It is all in contrast to recent seasons when the Blues have flirted with relegation and shows they are building consistency, despite the absence of a prolific goalscorer like Gavin Allott, who left the club last summer, with all the team chipping in with goals this time and a much improved defensive record.

Promising young Barnsley FC player Bailey Gooda has joined Frickley on a youth loan deal from the Football League One club.

The 18-year-old can play in any position across the back four and has captained the Barnsley under 21 side this season.

Frickley boss Karl Rose has earmarked Gooda to provide valuable cover at centre-back where he has recently lost two players.

With Jameel Ible in the middle of a four-match suspension following a recent sending off and Macaulay Parkinson picking up an injury after switching into the back four from his usual full-back position, the Blues were left short of options but Rose has moved swiftly to plug the gap.

Gooda went straight into the side against Skelmersdale United last Saturday and made a good instant impression with the team keeping a clean sheet.

Rose, meanwhile, has allowed Jack Wakefield to join Evo-Stik First Division North side Ossett Town for a period in order to gain match fitness.