“Everyone involved with the club has been fantastic with me ever since I joined”
With Jimmy Spencer and management duo Adam Lakeland and Mark Bett already tied down ahead of the club’s return to the National League North, the Atkinson brothers are the latest to commit to the Celts.
Chris Atkinson has been a part of the club’s last two promotions after joining from Salford City in 2017, going on to be an ever-present in the starting XI, starting all but one league game last season, making 125 appearances for the club.
Chris was thrilled to get the deal done, as he said: “I was delighted to get it all done nice and early, obviously there was only one thing on my mind and that was to stay here after the season we have had! Now I can go away and relax for a few weeks and then get ready for pre-season.
“Last season was special, like I have said before everyone within the club played a part to get us to where we are now.
“We had a lot of setbacks during the season but we bounced back straight away and nothing fazed us at all. That just shows how together we are as a group.
“If we can keep this group together for a while with the togetherness we have got and the quality we have in our squad I think we can keep moving up the ladder.”
Chris is already looking forward to the new campaign at step two, as he added: “We have showed on several occasions last season when we came up against teams in this league that we are more than capable of competing against them.
“I think it will suit us more as well, as teams will come at us a little more and that’s when we are at our best, I can’t wait to get going.
“The club means a lot to me, everyone involved with the club has been fantastic with me ever since I joined. I will be going into my fourth season with the club next year and I have enjoyed every one of them so far. Long may it continue.”
Chris’ brother Ben joined the club in the summer of 2017 from Brighouse Town, and has also surpassed the 100-appearance mark in his two seasons at Throstle Nest. The versatile midfielder has chipped in with some crucial goals across the last two seasons, scoring 17, including 9 in last season’s promotion winning campaign.
Chairman Paul Barthorpe commented on the news: “Given the superb dressing room atmosphere, and the togetherness of the squad under the expert guidance of our management duo, it is important for us as a club to ensure that we keep that winning formula together.
“This will be the first of many upcoming announcements of us securing the longer-term services of key members of that squad who we are confident will once again do the club proud next season.
“Chris and Ben have both been integral parts of the club’s success on the pitch as their appearance records show, and off the pitch as well they have always been very positive in their interaction with our fans, and there is no greater validation that we are a family club than having family members playing together on the pitch and socialising together with the fans off it.”
Updated 21:28 - 16 May 2019 by Thomas Ritchie