By Jamie Woodhouse
Eccleshill turned in a much stronger performance in their second pre-season outing, falling to a narrow 4-3 defeat against Farsley Celtic. Despite the result, noticeable improvements have been made following the 6-1 demolition at the hands of Shaw Lane Aquaforce.
A brace from Ben Hardy, alongside a sublime headed goal from captain Sam Bradley, showed the Eagles power going forward. However, a completely different test now lies ahead, as Eccleshill welcome Bradford City to the Mitton Group Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Bradford, who made it to the final of the league one play-offs last season, announced last week that they plan to bring a number of first team players to the game, and this has certainly caught the attention of the Eccleshill squad.
Bradley in particular, cannot wait to share the field with the Bantams, who currently compete seven divisions above their hosts in the English football pyramid. He said: “We are seeing this game as a bit of an experience but of course we all dream of stepping up higher.
“Myself personally I really want to impress. Everybody needs to work hard together to get a decent result.
“They’re bringing a strong squad so that can only be good for us in the long run.”
With such a gulf in class between the sides, fitness levels are likely to become a factor in the match, but Bradley refuses to believe this will stop the Eagles competing. He said: “Time will tell with our fitness levels.
“In our first game against Shaw Lane Aquaforce we didn’t look very fit, so we went to training and worked on that. Against Farsley we looked much fitter so we will find out on the day because Bradford are at a different level to us.”
A bumper crowd is expected for the contest, with Bradford fans seeing this as a perfect opportunity to scout some of their new first team recruits, heading into the new campaign. Bradley sees this however, as a positive for his side, explaining: “We want to play in front of as many fans as we can to get noticed. There will be a big crowd on Wednesday and we will all thrive off it.”