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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Celtic Nation apply to join Evo-Stik League

Celtic Nation chief Steve Skinner has confirmed that the club have formally applied for promotion to the Evo-Stik League.

Steve Skinner photo
Steve Skinner

The move sees The Nation become the fourth club this season, along with Darlington 1883, Spennymoor Town and Bishop Auckland, to state on record their intentions to leave the Ebac Northern League.

While it is uncommon but not unprecedented for more than one team to be awarded promotion per campaign, the Carlisle club have registered their interest in the hope that they may be ‘cherry-picked’ for promotion as an additional team, should their application be approved.

The Evo-Stik League comprises two tiers – First Division North and the Premier Division – with the latter being just one rung below Workington Reds’ current league, Blue Square Bet North.

Skinner, who founded the club alongside Mike Linden and Geoff Andrews just seven years ago, says that the application is proof of his side’s ambition.

“It’s always been our thinking since day one,” said the former Carlisle United man.

“We set ourselves a target to get out of the league within two years, and mathematically we’ve still got a chance this year.

“There’s only one team going up from the teams who apply for promotion, but sometimes they cherry-pick another because they want to make the league bigger, or another team’s in trouble, or there’s some other reason,” he added.

Skinner is likely to line up for The Nation in tonight’s game at Newton Aycliffe in Northern League Division One (7.45pm).

If the game evades the recent big freeze it will be the Gillford Park outfit’s first outing since the 4-2 win at Bedlington Terriers 11 days ago.

Defender James Parker could be in line for a return to the squad having missed much of the campaign with injury, while fellow stopper Tyran Taylor may also feature having recovered from a hamstring problem. With an extended break behind them, manager Tony Lee insists a breather from league action hasn’t been ideal considering their recent good form.

“We’ve been playing very well recently,” he said. “We’ll have a very strong squad available with everyone wanting to play.”

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