NCEL: Harrogate Town youngster backed for Knaresborough Town star role

Knaresborough Town Reserves player Brad Walker (1412272AM1)
Knaresborough Town Reserves player Brad Walker (1412272AM1)

Teenage striker Brad Walker is ready for first team action at Knaresborough Town, according to new reserves boss Mike Bligh.

Walker has found his feet in the West Yorkshire League this season and scored six goals in six appearances.

First team manager Brian Davey watched the striker in action for the reserves at Manse Lane on Saturday, with Knaresborough’s first team game at Worsborough Bridge Athletic postponed.

And Walker did not disappoint as he capped another impressive display with a goal in the 4-2 victory over Brighouse Old Boys. Chris Fairhurst, Ben Lock and substitute Ben Parkes were also on target.

With the first team hunting forwards due to Colin Heath’s suspension, Bligh believes Walker, who is also part of Harrogate Town’s academy structure, can step up to become a star at Northern Counties level.

He said: “Brad impressed immensely and it was good that Brian was able to watch him.

“He has shown great movement on and off the ball. If he continues knocking the goals in for fun, anything is possible for him.

“He works so hard, he’s a nightmare to defend against.

“He’s got the potential to kick on but he’s at a critical time. It all depends on what he wants to sacrifice for it to try and get it.

“I hope he does. It’s the joy of being a reserve team manager. You want your players to progress up.”

Walker could be considered for first team action when the reverse fixture against Worsborough takes place at Manse Lane this Saturday.

Worsborough have struggled so far this campaign and lie 16th in NCEL Division One, nine points behind Knaresborough with three games in hand.

The Reserves are in West Riding County Cup action at 2012 West Yorkshire league winners Beeston St Anthony’s. And Bligh has set his sights on a deep run in the prestigious competition, with league survival and cup glory his aim for 2015.

The Brighouse victory took Knaresborough above rivals Wetherby Athletic into 11th in the West Yorkshire Premier Division. However, more importantly, it took them nine points above the relegation zone, on 18 points.

Bligh said: “I have set myself the aim of 33 points in the league. Going off history, 30 points is enough to keep you in it, and we also want to lift a cup or two.

We have a couple of nice cup fixtures coming up which will test the lads. I believe in them, especially if we play like we are.”