Alfreton striker Priestley set for World Cup challenge

Adam Priestley
Adam Priestley

Alfreton Town striker Adam Priestley will swap the dales of Derbyshire for the blue skies of the Mediterranean this weekend.

After helping Alfreton to earn a draw and an FA Cup replay against League Two side Newport County, the Gibraltar international now has his sights set on a World Cup qualifying clash with Cyprus on Sunday.

The game will have a similar feel, as the underdogs of Gibraltar will be hoping to overcome a Cyprus team which has a fair amount of experience on the international stage.

Despite the international minnows having only won one game since their UEFA membership application was accepted, Priestley insists that they believe they can get a result.

He said: ‘’The game against Cyprus is a great opportunity for us. We all feel as though we have a great chance of getting something from the game. However, we also know Cyprus will feel the same way so we need to ensure we prepare as well as we can.’’

Priestley returned to the Gibraltar fold earlier this year after having been left out of the squad for just over a year when manager Jeff Woods first took charge. The 26-year-old revealed that he was ‘gutted’ when he received the call to tell him he hadn’t made the squad.

He revealed that this motivated him to work harder, adding: ‘’All you want to do as a footballer is play at the highest level possible for club and country, so it spurred me on to work hard to get myself back in.’’

The hard work paid off when Priestley was called up for the squad to face Estonia and Belgium in October.

Once labelled as ‘The Robert Lewandowski of non-league football’, Priestley recalled the experience of playing against one of the world’s best strikers:

He said: “Playing against Lewandowski was amazing. He was extremely hard to keep an eye on though. One second he would be stood next to you and you thought you had him marked, next second you’d check and he was gone!”

Gibraltar’s game against Cyprus takes place on Sunday at 5pm meaning Priestley will miss Alfreton’s trip to the Horsfall Stadium to face Bradford Park Avenue in the National League North on Saturday.

Buoyed by holding Newport to a draw last Sunday at the Impact Arena, Alfreton will be hoping they can pick up all three points on their travels.