Brad can make the step up for Bamber Bridge

Brad Carsley slots home a penalty for Bamber Bridge
Brad Carsley slots home a penalty for Bamber Bridge

Boss Neil Reynolds believes Bamber Bridge new boy Brad Carsley has the makings of becoming a firm fans’ favourite at Irongate.

The strapping centre-forward signed on the dotted line at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium this week after opting to leave West Lancashire League champions Longridge Town.

Carsley scored 29 goals last season for Lee Ashcroft’s men as Town clinched the Premier Division title for the first time in their history by beating Blackpool Wren Rovers on the final day of the season.

However, the 22-year-old has decided that now is the time to test himself at a higher level.

It will be quite a jump in standard for Carsley, as Brig are three levels above Longridge in the football pyramid but Reynolds believes he has the ability to be a success in the NPL First Division North.

“It is a big step up from the West Lancashire League, but Brad can definitely do it,” said Reynolds. “He believes he can do it and I certainly do – else I wouldn’t have signed him.

“No disrespect to Longridge Town, but it was comfortable for him at that level. He contacted us and said he’d like to make the step up and would we be interested in signing him. I told him we would definitely be interested. ”

Reynolds believes Carsley will give his squad something different and will complement the rest of the attacking talent in his squad.

“Brad will give us what we have been missing,” said Reynolds. “He’s got a big presence about him and likes the physical challenge.He can look after the ball and is quick too.

“He’s a goalscorer and if you’re a goalscorer, you can score at any level, especially with the quality he will have around him.

“If you make the chances, he will score goals.

“I am sure our other attacking players – Alistair Waddecar, Regan Linney, Stu Vasey, Chris Marlow – will enjoy playing alongside him.

“I think he will become a big fans’ favourite too. He’s got a lot of work ahead of him, but when he comes back for pre-season training, I think he will be ready to hit the ground running.”

Reynolds has also boosted his defensive options by the acquisition of centre-half Callum Jones. He has joined from North West Counties outfit Congleton and used to play for Trafford in the NPL First Division North.

“Callum will add competition for places in central defence,” said Reynolds.

“He’s 6ft 2in and likes to do everything that a centre-half likes to do – tackling, heading – he’s a winner.”

Reynolds is hopeful of bringing in two more players ahead of the start of the season and is due to speak to a central midfielder this week.