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Carl Serrant


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From the Beeb, if you ever wondered where he was!


At the age of 23, Carl Serrant appeared to have the football world at his feet.


An England B international, the classy left-back had just secured a move from Oldham to Newcastle United.


Despite a change of manager from Kenny Dalglish to Ruud Gullit, St James's Park seemed destined to provide him with a platform for a top-class career.


Sadly, injury reared its ugly head and after just seven games for Newcastle and a loan spell with Bury, Serrant's professional career was over.


A serious knee injury led to early retirement and the most painful of blows.


"That goes without saying, at the age I was," Serrant told BBC Sport.


"I first got the injury when I was going on 24 and I was finished by the time I was 25 before I had even established some sort of career.


"It was very frustrating because I had a lot more potential, but I also have a lot to take away from the short space of time I did play. And you have to move on."


Serrant can now take a philosophical view of his all-too-brief time at the top, although 18 months of attempted rehabilitation and comebacks initially left him disillusioned with football.



Even in the short space of time I have been there the club has really progressed


Carl Serrant


He took two-and-a-half years out of the game before being tempted back to play part-time with home town club Bradford Park Avenue.


From there he joined Droylsden, and then just over two years ago was persuaded to sign for Farsley Celtic by manager Lee Sinnott - a former team-mate at Oldham.


"Since I have been playing non-league football I have enjoyed it at Farsley the most," Serrant said.


"We have a fantastic set of players on and off the pitch. The fun and banter is great and we try and play good football.


"We have got a manager who has had a good professional career and he brings that professionalism to the team and to the club.


"Even in the short space of time I have been there the club has really progressed."


Serrant, now a 31-year-old central defender, helped Farsley challenge for promotion from the Unibond League and last season they made it up to Conference North via the play-offs.



We will go out gunning to try and upset them and give them as much of a game as possible


Carl Serrant


This season, for only the second time in the club's 98-year history, they have made it into the first round proper of the FA Cup.


On the first occasion they switched their tie to nearby Elland Road where a crowd of 11,000 saw them lose to Tranmere Rovers.


Thirty-two years later and Celtic are playing at home, with Milton Keynes Dons the visitors to the Throstle Nest on Sunday.


A capacity crowd of 3,000 is expected, which should do wonders to raise the profile of a club situated slap-bang between Leeds and Bradford and which usually attracts about a tenth of that figure to their matches.


For Sinnott it means a further brush with a competition which took him all the way to Wembley as a losing finalist with Watford in 1984.


Carl Serrant

Serrant played for Newcastle and was an England B international


And for Serrant, Sunday's tie against the League Two side brings a welcome return to a bigger stage.


He said: "We have had some decent crowds for pre-season games when we have played against Bradford.


"But to have a big crowd for a competitive game gets you buzzing again and gives you the feeling of being back as a pro again.


"We have a few players who have played league football and it's good for them.


"And it's good for those who have not done that to have a test against a League team."


When Serrant was first forced to quit the full-time ranks he spent a spell working for an agent.


However, that was not for him and he has since studied for a sports science degree which he hopes will lead to employment in the fitness side of football.


He is already working with Leeds United and with the players at Farsley.


And it is his insight into both levels of the game that is providing Serrant with the hope that a shock win for Farsley could form another high point of his roller-coaster career.


"I always think of it as the other way round, as if I was a pro again," he said.


"They wouldn't say it publicly, but a professional team would not like to come to teams like ourselves, facilities-wise, with all due respect, and not with a professional pitch.


"They might not want to turn up and play us.


"And then I look at it as a non-league player and we will go out gunning to try and upset them and give them as much of a game as possible."



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