Farsley Celtic have announced that Graeme McKibbin has signed for a second season with the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division club.
The goalkeeper, who was selected in the 2016/17 NPL First Division North team of the season and was the supporters` player of the year runner-up, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be staying with the club. I spoke to the manager a couple of weeks ago, I liked what he had to say and I can’t wait to get the shirt back on and get out on the pitch in the new season.
“I got a call from goalkeeping coach Gaz Stokes to say that he was staying and with what Adam Lakeland had to say it was an easy decision to resign. I had a couple of other offers, but ultimately I wanted to stay at Farsley.”
“Looking at next season, having played against Premier Division sides such as Ashton United and Barwell in the cups last year, I think we’ll hold our own in the division.”
— FarsleyCeltic (@FarsleyCelticFC) June 7, 2017
Manager Adam Lakeland said on signing the ex-Crusaders ‘keeper: “I make it clear from day one that I wanted him to stay and it’s taken a couple of weeks for him to make the decision, which I believe is the right one and I can’t wait to work with him.
“It’s clear we have got one of the best keepers in the competition, as his place in the League team showed, so it was very important we kept Graeme.
“There was interest from other clubs and people who tried to turn his head, but ultimately this is the best place for him to be.
“I think he can improve and develop to get even better and I’m sure next season will be another strong one for him in the higher league.
“Going into the Premier Division, I know the team’s average height is a bit bigger and set plays will be more and more important, so it’s vital you have a keeper who is physically capable and confident to come and deal with balls into the box, which takes the pressure off the outfield players.
“Not only that, but going up a division, I expect sides to be a touch more organised and therefore we might not get as many chances to score goals, so games will be tighter and in Graeme we have somebody who can make ‘big’ saves when we need him to. For me that’s the sign of a very good goalkeeper. The keepers who are making ten to fifteen saves a game are good goalkeepers, but personally the best ones are those who don’t have a lot to do, stay focused and pull off the important saves when you need them and get you the points and in Graeme we have that”.