Much-travelled striker James Walshaw is still loving his football and scoring goals – at the age of 38.
Walshaw joined Emley AFC last month on a dual-registration from Liversedge and was an instant hit scoring five goals in three matches.
Ossett-based Walshaw has played for a host of clubs including Ossett United, Farsley Celtic, Scarborough Athletic and Frickley Athletic. In his career he has played in the National League with Darlington AFC and National League North with FC Halifax Town, Guiseley, Altrincham and Harrogate Town.
Walshaw believes Emley – second in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division – is on an upward trajectory and said: “I have joined Emley because I can see it’s a club going in the right direction. Their form this season has been great and they are fighting at the top end of the table.
“Since coming into the team, the dressing room has been very welcoming and I really appreciate that. I knew a lot about the club, I live in Ossett and so have kept an eye on their results locally. Last season was up and down but this year the club has really settled itself and has some good staff here.
“I did play for the club when it joined forces with Wakefield in the early 2000s, since then I have won a number of titles and promotions with a few different clubs.
“One of the main reasons for joining Emley was because I wanted to enjoy my football again and I feel like I haven’t over the past few years. The club is a good one and has some very good players both young and experienced. The manager Richard Tracey has built a well-balanced squad.”
Emley are currently two points behind table toppers North Ferriby and are unbeaten in 20 matches in all competitions and Walshaw believes the Pewits are very much in the title race.
“There is lots of football to be played yet and anything can happen,” he said. “But I feel that we have a good enough team to win this league. We want to keep this good run going. Everyone is really positive which is great. We can catch North Ferriby for sure and if we did it would be a brilliant season.”
Like many strikers Walshaw prefers to keep his goalscoring target to himself but he did admit that Joe Jagger’s current tally of 21 gives him something to aim at.
He’d also like to make the move to the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground permanently in the future if the opportunity arises.
Walshaw said: “I have a target that I always keep to myself. I have never revealed it to anyone. What I will say is that I would like to score at least one goal in every game I play in and I would like to catch Joe but he is having a brilliant season.
“He is a good professional who I think can go and play at a higher level, as I do with Iyrwah Gooden who is a very talented young lad. Both have been in good form as has Paul Walker who is another experienced player.
“When I arrived I had confidence to get in the side but knew it wouldn’t be easy. We have great competition for places.
“I would like to make the move permanently to Emley in the future if the clubs can agree. I am enjoying my time here and hopefully that continues.”