Golcar United’s start to life in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division has mirrored that of Emley AFC in the first half of last season.

However, Emley boss Richard Tracey has offered encouragement to Golcar management duo Ash and Gav Connor and says there’s no reason why the Weavers can’t have a successful second half of the campaign and move up the table just as the Pewits did last year.

It’s the half-way point in the season and while the Pewits are flying high second in the table, Golcar have struggled to get results so far and currently sit 15th, but have been as low as 17th.

This period of struggle in the first half of the season strikes similarities to how Emley fared in their first few months back at this level last season. The Pewits were hovering just above the relegation places up until November time last year before turning their form around and storming to a 9th place finish. 

On seeing similarities with what Golcar are going through now, Tracey has told joint Golcar managers Ash and Gav Connor to trust the process and keep believing.

Emley AFC boss Richard Tracey. Pic by Ken Allsebroo and Ash (right) and Gav Connor. Pic by: Sean Doyle

Tracey said: “While we are rivals on the pitch the two clubs get on very well off it. I have known the Connor brothers a good while now and believe Golcar have what it takes to stay up.

“They are in a similar position to what we were last year. They are being competitive in games and only losing narrowly. We had the same issue last season. We played well and did not get the points we deserved.

“Whenever I have spoken to them I’ve said to just trust the process they have gone through. They have a good team there which has changed with older players leaving and new younger players coming in.

“They have a certain budget like we do and so results will turn for them. They just have to keep going. I think they’ll stay up.”

As for his own side, Emley have only lost twice in the league so far – both to table toppers North Ferriby – and Tracey expects to push the leaders all the way.

He said: “We have lost twice in the league and, in fairness, we could have won both those games. We weren’t far away at all.

“Our focus for the second half of the season has to be just to keep doing what we are doing. We know we have to win our games in hand to catch North Ferriby and we also know we have to keep winning because of the pack of teams that is behind us.

“Promotion would be great, I think we are ready for it facilities wise, but obviously there is a lot to think about.

“Players will need to travel further and will need to be paid more, we haven’t to put the club under financial pressure. The good thing is we have a great board who know what they are doing and give me great backing but are ambitious too.

“There is a long way to go yet, though, this season and we have some big games coming up.”

Golcar joint boss Ash Connor enjoys the relationship with Tracey and believes his side has already started to turn their form around having won their last three games in all competitions.

He said: “We have a good relationship with Emley and pass information to eachother about different teams. Obviously when we play each other it’s a bit different and we don’t talk as much but I think it’s good we have a good relationship.

“We seem to have gone on a similar path to what they did last year. Let’s hope that continues because they ended up finishing in the top half.

“We have been really close in games, our performances have been there. Over the past three games we have turned those performances into results which has moved us up the league table.

“We still believe in this squad. We said all last season and this one that we have excellent players in our dressing room that have played at this level and higher. Hopefully we can now go on a run of results and really get moving up that table.”

Golcar were due to face Emley at the Skye Direct Stadium on Saturday December 17 but the match was postponed due to a frozen pitch.