Marsden FC head coach Luke Haigh believes 2023 could be a big year for the club, with a possibility of silverware returning to Fall Lane for the first time in two decades. 

The first team currently sit top of Division 2 in the Yorkshire Men’s League. They’ve won all their games so far which puts them on 30 points, seven points clear of second-placed North Huddersfield.

Haigh said: “Our main aim in 2023 is to keep competing well and to continue to move the club forwards. Regarding this season I want both the first team and reserves to finish as strong as they can and hopefully, with hard work and commitment, we can bring the first team some silverware for the first time in over two decades.” 

Looking further ahead, Haigh added: “Regarding next season I’ve already been chatting to some of my friends and former colleagues to bring some pro club academies down to Fall Lane in pre-season which should drum up some interest for the locals. However, certain ground criteria needs to be met in order for me to do that. 

“Going forwards we have applied for our reserve team to also join the Yorkshire Amateur League from next season too. It’s subject to acceptance from the YAL.” 

Haigh joined the club last summer and has already helped turn it around on and off the pitch.

He said: “What a six months it has been so far on and off the field since I officially took over the club in July 2022. At the end of the season in May 2022 the first team were struggling to fulfill their district league fixtures. The club was rock bottom and going nowhere fast.

“I agreed to take over the club for the next season to get them back on their feet and at least start to compete again. 

“The club has all the foundations in place to become a very successful club. They have successful junior and girls teams who in all honesty have been the shining light for Marsden in recent years. However, now it’s time to give them a first team to be proud of again. 

“On the field I couldn’t have asked for a better start in pre-season, we had 34 players for our first training session, 22 of which were new signings. This ultimately led to us having a reserve team which was fantastic news for the club.

“I’ve brought in five members of staff plus ex Huddersfield Town Women social media man Oliver Eaton who runs our socials for the club as well as being club photographer. He’s a very big part of my team. 

“Both teams are competing well in the league and are creating a strong interest in the local community who now come down and watch the lads play on a weekly basis.

“What is really pleasing to me is the number of youngsters we have training with the club, who are eager to play open age football and learn. 

“The first team are still in the Hancock Cup as well as chasing the Division 2 title, meanwhile the reserves are still competing in the Groom Cup.”

There’s been lots of changes at Fall Lane. Pic by: MARK PARSONS

Off the field Haigh is just as pleased with the improvements there and insists there is more to come to help the club progress. 

He said: “The maintenance of our home pitch and facilities started in June 2022. All the missing railings around the pitch were replaced and re-painted. The clubhouse has a new watertight roof fitted for fans to stand under to keep dry. 

“We have two brand new dugouts up and painted. New Black and white netting for the goals has also been acquired. Seating for the dugout will be installed in the new year. The work off the field is looking to continue through the summer with our new committee members looking to take us as high as we can possibly go.

“We are now exploring possibilities of floodlights for our home ground and potential grants for a new 4G surface in the village, something Marsden and Huddersfield itself are crying out for.”