Ethan Cotton post-Emley: “Rossi brought me into first-team training”

A Farsley Celtic first-team training opportunity was recently presented to Ethan Cotton and the ‘keeper is now no.1 contender to follow Rhys Westcarr’s path into the senior side, replacing the ever-present u23s first-choice keeper in Monday night’s match due to Westcarr’s injury.

Manager Neil Ross invited Cotton to first-team training following Ross’ appointment for the senior side from the Academy while previous u23s no.1 Westcarr has been enjoying call-ups into first-team matchday squads in recent months.

“When Rossi first took over at the first-team, first week, he brought me down to training,” said Cotton.

“I was still with the u23s training also, and whilst Rhys was playing [for the 23s] I was playing for the 21s. I got a good few games and wins with them”.

Cotton showed sharpness to tip round his left-hand post after reacting quickly to deny a close-range effort late in the first-half in his first u23s start of the season on Monday night, keeping the scores level at half-time. He’d hardly been tested up until that point. Three Emley goals in 10 second-half minutes meant the u23s were denied a fourth consecutive victory due to defeat at the Fantastic Media Stadium.

Due to Farsley’s control of possession in the first-half, the ‘keeper detailed how the message at the break was heavily focused on the defence maintaining focus.

“First-half it was solid. We moved the ball quickly, defence were in line, midfield were pushing on, forwards making runs… just couldn’t finish,” explained Cotton.

“It [team-talk] was about the defence, keeping the line, stepping up when we needed to. Making sure everyone’s checking shoulders.

“First-half, their [Emley] only option was over the top so second-half we knew it was going to come and for the first goal, it looked like we just dropped off. As soon as that one went in, we turned slow”.

Cotton is expected to return for the u23s’ next match, hosting Hemsworth Miners Welfare at the Citadel on Monday 29th November.