Celtic’s fixture chaos

IT is the sort of fixture schedule that would horrify Premier League managers Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho and have them screaming from the roof tops.


Luke Ashworth at his day job as a bricklayer

Stalybridge Celtic is currently in the throes of a chaotic month in which they have 13 games in 26 days.

In addition the part-time players have day-time jobs to hold down including the likes of Luke Ashworth who is a bricklayer.

Ashworth, speaking after a fifth game in eight days – the win at Ashton United, said: “It annoys me when I read about Premier League footballers not being able to play two games a week.

“They want to see what non-league lads do, and we don’t think twice about the money.”

Centre-back Ashworth, 28, also detailed his exacting work schedule that is far removed from that of a professional footballer.

He continued: “I won’t get home until late, sometimes in the early hours if we are away, and I leave my home in Bolton for work at 6.10am.


Luke in action for Stalybridge Celtic

“At the moment I am building a house extension in Didsbury and work from 8am until 4pm and then dash straight to a night game.

“If I were a professional, I would either be off the day after a game or maybe go into the ground for a cool down.”

Ashworth, who joined Celtic last summer after four seasons at FC United, admitted the punishing schedule of matches had left him “knackered”.

He said it would be “common sense” to extend the season.

Ashworth said: “It doesn’t matter how fixtures are crammed in at the start of the season, you always still get games called off and a backlog like we have now.

“It isn’t fair on clubs, especially those that are chasing automatic promotion, play offs and relegation.”

Celtic also have a number of other players who have manual jobs like striker Liam Dickinson who works for a fencing firm while midfielder Tom Brown is a window cleaner.

Brown is currently on the sidelines after damaging his shoulder following a fall from a ladder.

Here is Celtic’s schedule for April:
April 3: Ashton United (H)
April 7: Farsley Celtic (H)
April 10: Barnton (H)
April 12: Shaw Lane (A)
April 14: Stourbridge (A)
April 16: Nantwich Town (A)
April 17: Ashton United (A)
April 19: Matlock Town (A)
April 21: Coalville Town (H)
April 23: Mickleover Sports (A)
April 24: Workington Town (H)
April 26: Witton Albion (H)
April 28: Halesowen Town (A).

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