Saturday, 29 June 2013

Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott turns to NCEL for new signings

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Ossett Town manager Craig Elliott has turned to the Northern Counties East League for four of his new signings.
Richard Patterson and Andrew Fox have joined from Staveley Miners Welfare where they played a role in the club’s run to the FA Vase semi-final in 2012.
Will McGhie (Worksop Parramore) and Scott McGrory, who has played for Staveley and Leeds Carnegie are the other two.
Elliott’s knowledge of NCEL football is excellent. He was Glasshoughton Welfare for two seasons, but he can be seen at many NCEL games scouting when Ossett are not playing.
He already signed highly-rated full-back Steve Jeff from Tadcaster Albion.
Also joining Ossett is defender Nick Wood who was with Evo Stik outfit Mickleover Sports last season having previously been with Tranmere Rovers and Mansfield Town.
Former Farsley midfielder Chris Walton was announced as a new signing two weeks ago.
The signings take his squad for the Evo Stik Division One North season up to 12 as Jimmy Eyles, Matt Convey, Luke Richardson, Ryan Qualter and Danny Patterson have agreed to stay.
On the departure front, only Shane Kelsey’s exit has been confirmed, but centre-back Wes Milnes is also set to leave Ingfield this summer.

Friday, 28 June 2013

The door is open at Farsley AFC for FC Halifax Town target Adam Priestley

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
The door is still at Farsley AFC for last season’s top scorer Adam Priestley, who is been chased Conference clubs, according to Neil Parsley.
Former Garforth Town striker Priestley has trained with Farsley this week, but his future at Throstle Nest is uncertain.
Priestley jets off this weekend to spend a week training with the Gibraltar National Team due to his Gilbraltar birth certificate.
No decision on his club for next season will be made until after he returns, but Parsley admits he would like to keep the forward, who won the management's player of the year award in May, at Farsley.
He said: “There has been interest from Conference sides, Halifax have shown interest and so have Hyde, but time will tell on whether they consider that Adam will strengthen their sides.
“If he does leave then he goes with our blessing, if he doesn’t then we will have to re-evaluate the situation and sit down with Adam and see if we can strike a deal.
“If somebody scores 27 goals then people are going to be interested, that’s the nature of the beast.
“Fair play to Adam, he scored 27 goals in a side that finished mid-table and didn’t pull up any trees.
“If we start the league season on August 17th without Adam then I wish him all the best because he’s worked hard and listened to what myself, Sim and Jacko have asked him to do for us and we’ll have helped him on his way to moving onto bigger and better things.”

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Fans favourite Steven Drench signs new two year deal at Guiseley

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Guiseley goalkeeper Steven Drench has officially signed a new two-year-deal at Nethermoor.
Former Leigh Genesis Drench agreed terms with Guiseley boss Steve Kittrick weeks ago, but as his wedding was his main priority, the deal was only signed this week.
Drench was originally signed as cover in August 2010 for Jon Worsnop who was facing a spell on the side-lines after being injured in a motorcycle accident, which all his team-mates were witness to.
But, his displays in the opening matches ensured the number one jersey was his and he has kept it ever since.
Because of his form over the last three seasons, Drench is arguably Kittrick’s best signing for Guiseley during his five-year reign.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Lee Ellington has a point to prove after year of hell at Matlock Town

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Lee Ellington is determined to prove his critics wrong when he leads Farsley AFC’s attack in the Evo Stik Division One North.
Ellington, whose prolific goal-scoring spells at Gainsborough Trinity and Stalybridge Celtic earned him the reputation of being one of non-league football’s most feared strikers, endured a terrible time at Evo Stik Premier Division Matlock Town last season.
After just two months at the club, he was transfer-listed and told his services were no longer required.
Matlock and Ellington tried to negotiate a deal to cancel his contract, but none could be agreed so the 32-year-old was reduced to watching first team matches.
Bradford-based Ellington’s relationship with Matlock manager Mark Atkins and his assistant Nick Buxton is now at rock bottom after the pair used the media to criticise the striker.
Ellington, who worked with the pair before at Stalybridge, has broken silence on his spell at Matlock and given his side of the story.
“I feel I have point to prove after the politics I had to deal with at Matlock,” he said.
“It has fired me up, I feel fresh and really energised to give it a go this season.
“About a month into the season I got told by Matlock that I was the highest paid player and that they needed to get me off the wage bill and wanted me to move on.
“It was a bit of a shock because I knew the manager from Stalybridge and the assistant Bucco and they were pushing me out of the door as well.
“Obviously we couldn’t agree on a severance package so I was told I would be stuck in the reserves for the rest of the season if I didn’t move on.
“It wasn’t ideal and I wasn’t going to travel down to Matlock three times a week to play for the reserves – it was a really bad situation which ended with me not playing a lot of football.
“I have a family to look after so if they say ‘you have a good contract here and you have to walk away from it’, I’m not going to do that with nothing set-up for after.
“I told them I wasn’t going to leave until I got the right deal to leave.
“A lot of people close to me know the real story and know I love to play football, but wasn’t allowed to at Matlock and that is their loss.
“Matlock is the first bad period of my career and all the managers I have worked under will be able to count for that.
“It has ruined my relationship with Mark Atkins and his assistant Bucco because the way they have talked about me.
“It has burnt bridges. I got on well with them before, but the way they tried to treat me means I have no time for them now. I’d rather move on and forget about last season.”
After ending his year of hell at Matlock, Ellington joins Farsley who are determined to make up for last season’s disappointing campaign.
‘The Duke’ as he is affectionally known is a popular figure at Throstle Nest from his spell at the club during the 2009-10 season – the last campaign of the old club Farsley Celtic.
Ellington was top scorer in a side that contained Doncaster Rovers star Dave Syers and the forward is delighted to have returned.
He said: “It is brilliant to be back and there are still a few lads who were here when I here four years ago before the club folded.
“It feels like coming home and it is very exciting.
“(When I was released from Matlock) Pars got in touch and went through what I was looking for and told me the plans for next season and the players who he was bringing in.
“I wanted to be at Farsley and I know Farsley are traditionally a big club and should be higher than this league.
“It is really exciting to come back and be able to show that I am still a good player.”

Two more new faces sign as Farsley AFC pre-season training begins

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Two more new faces were confirmed when Farsley AFC pre-season training began last night at Throstle Nest.
Wakefield FC midfielder Josh Grant returns to the Nest, while manager Neil Parsley has also captured highly-rated attacking midfielder Danny Hull from Harrogate Railway.
The players took part in the two hour session, led by the management of Parsley, Simeon Bambrook, A License coach Mark Jackson and goalkeeping coach Gary Stokes, in glorious sunshine.
Matty Young and proven goalscorer Lee Ellington, who were members of the 2009-10 Conference North side, were present.
The returning faces of Tom Morgan, Ben Higginson, James Riley (pictured above), Ryan Harrison trained alongside a number of trialists.
Farsley will be training hard over the next week as the prestigious friendly with Leeds United is only ten days away.
That is when Grant and Hull will appear in a Farsley shirt for the first time.
Grant (pictured above) has had a spell with the club before having featured five times during the inaugural NCEL Premier Division campaign.
He then moved onto Yorkshire Amateur, playing in their historic Division One third place finish season before joining former Ammers boss Paul Lines at Wakefield.
Hull has also briefly played at Wakefield under Lines and also during the short-lived reign of Mark Brier and his management team.
But, Hull made his name playing for Brier at Brighouse Town in the NCEL before moving onto Harrogate Railway to play for Billy Miller.
He now joins a Farsley side determined to make up for last season’s disappointing campaign.

Highly-rated Graham Nicholas appointed Garforth Town head coach

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Highly rated Graham Nicholas is the new head coach of NCEL Premier Division side Garforth Town.
Nicholas, who boasts an impressive CV, is a fresh face at Wheatley Park and has been given the task of stemming the decline that triggered the club’s relegation from the Evo Stik Division One North.
Club chairman Brian Close said: “Graham is a highly regarded coach and has experience of coaching in America and with the Barnsley academy.
“He was looking to break into the semi-professional game and we’re looking forward to working with him.
“It is a big year for the club and we’re hopeful that Graham can stabilise us in the NCE Premier.
“We’re also hoping to see supporters back at the club this season, getting behind the new head coach.”
Nicholas, who briefly coached at NCEL rivals Athersley Recreation, now has to focus on ensuring that he has a team ready for the club’s first pre-season friendly at Carlisle United on 16th July.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Athersley Recreation appoint new head coach to replace Simon Houghton

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Reserve team boss Sean Margison has been promoted to the head coach position at NCEL Premier Division new boys Athersley Recreation.
Margison replaces former Pontefract Collieries boss Simon Houghton who was appointed as Shaw Lane Aquaforce’s new manager last week.
Margison was a player for Recreation for over fifteen years before moving into coaching.
He will work under the Athersley management, Peter Goodlad and Jason Dodsworth.
Goodlad said: “This is a great appointment and is pleased that Sean is ready to make the step up and again shows that the club's in-house recruitment policy works.”

Monday, 24 June 2013

Farsley AFC return for pre-season with a point to prove

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Farsley AFC return for pre-season training tomorrow evening, with a point to prove in the Evo Stik Division One North.
Anthony Lloyd, Matty Young, Paddy Miller, Lee Ellington and new captain Robbie O’Brien are confirmed as new signings for the upcoming season.
Five more players are staying – Steve Mallory, Ryan Harrison (pictured above), Ben Higginson, Tom Morgan and James Riley. There are question marks over several other players as only Chris Walton and Brice Tiani have publicly left.
Last season was a disaster and this year sees a couple of clubs join the Division with big resources. Darlington 1883 are the early favourites, while Northwich Victoria, now playing at Flixton, will be a threat. Then you have the likes of Mossley, Ramsbottom United and New Mills who will be up near the top.
It is going tough again this year. But Farsley have made a good start in the signings market. A centre-half and a midfielder are still on manager Neil Parsley’s shopping list. However, Lloyd is a fantastic signing as the right-back position has not sorted since Aaron Hardy departed for Guiseley in November.
Lloyd provides quality, just as Young does. The hard-working midfielder was one of Parsley’s top targets when the season finished. He impressed in the Conference North in 2009-10 and he will do again in 2013-14.
Then another of the 2009-10 team has returned. In Ellington Farsley have a proven goalscorer.
The first signs are good, but no-one at Throstle Nest is getting carried away, especially considering last season’s disaster. However, there are lot of people who want to make a point.
First though is ensuring everyone is fit for the visit of the Leeds United first team on July 6th.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Top half is the aim for NCEL Premier Division Glasshoughton Welfare manager Rob Hunter

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
For Football Managers, the work never stops during the summer. Hard-working Glasshoughton Welfare boss Rob Hunter has been preparing to raise eyebrows in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division ever since his side’s last game in May.
A top half finish in the expanded Premier Division is the target – something that would be remarkable considering the limited resources he and his assistant Mark Smitheringale have at Glasshoughton.
The pair, who were assistants to Paul Marshall during the Tadcaster Albion glory years between 2009 and 2011, are hoping to upset the applecart in 2013-14.
“I would be really disappointed if we didn’t finish in the top half of the league,” he said.
“We finished 16th in a 22 team league and if we finished higher in a 24 team league then we would be really pleased with that. Deep down though, I would be disappointed if we weren’t challenging around tenth spot. I think that would be a really successful season. Anything above that would be phenomenal for a small team like us.
“It is aiming a bit high (considering the resources), but you have got to aim high and set standards high. I believe if you are well-organised and get a good attitude from the players, the reserves and the committee then everyone is working together for the same goal.
“I’d rather aim for a high position and not quite get there than say to people that I’m happy with mid-table. Ninth, tenth or eleventh would be really good.”
If Hunter wants to reach the top ten then his side have to face 46 Premier Division games – four more than last year as the number of teams in the league has been increased to 24 teams.
It was the FA who made the widely ridiculed decision and Hunter, who believes Bridlington Town, Brighouse Town, Tadcaster Albion and Albion Sports will be among those challenging for the title, agrees with most of the criticism aimed at the decision.
“It is going to be tough as there are going to be a lot more midweek games and a lot more travelling,” he said.
“By the fact we have to play 46 league games, forgetting about the cups, we need a slightly bigger squad and a few players you can call on when you have Nottinghamshire or Lincolnshire midweek games when people can’t get out of work.
“My actual view on the 46 league games is that it is a ridiculous situation to put clubs in at this level in a scenario where they may have to play 50 or 60 football matches in a season. People don’t finish work until five and to expect us to play 14 or 15 midweek games is not great.
“But that is where we are at and everyone is in the same boat and I’ve read a few comments from people saying there are going to be so many dead rubber games at the end of the season. They’re absolutely right, there could be as many 50 or 60 matches been played in the last couple of months that don’t mean anything.”
More Premier Division games has meant that Glasshoughton, whose pre-season training began today, will have a bigger squad.
Most of Hunter’s squad that finished the season are coming back. Freddie Swales and Rob Pell (pictured above) can’t commit full-time because of University and work commitments, but the pair will still sign forms. Hunter is optimistic about keeping Manchester-based winger Russell Hedley who a couple of Evo Stik clubs are chasing.
With or without the trio Hunter has plenty of irons in the fire having had the plans for pre-season and next season in place a long time ago.
“I was like a kid getting up on Christmas morning today because it was the first training session, I couldn’t wait to get here,” he said.  
“Mark and I met on Thursday having spoken non-stop to each other over the summer about players. We have been busy since the season ended. After our last match at Armthorpe we had a lads’ night out at Doncaster Races and then by the Monday I probably sent out 20 emails to organise our pre-season friendlies. By May we probably had 90% of our pre-season schedule done and dusted. That allowed us to concentrate on players.
“Players-wise, I have spoken to quite a lot of people so we have quite a lot of new players coming to pre-season. We got a few players who said straightaway ‘no’ and I probably spoke to in the region of 50 players. We probably have 14 or 15 committed to coming pre-season. There are probably in the realms of ten who have not made a decision yet.
“Without having the financial resources that some clubs have in this league, it is really important that we get the right character, the right people who are going to train hard. If we can’t bring the best players in then we have to be the best organised, the hardest working, the fittest.”
It was the being organised and hard-working philosophy that ensured Glasshoughton avoided relegation back to Division One. Hunter took over at Leeds Road in December, replacing Graham Hodder who had left by mutual consent. The team were in free-fall having not scored in six games and sinking down the Premier Division table.
Hunter and Smitheringale were able to put the stabilisers on and five straight wins towards the end of the campaign meant Welfare finished 16th. But, it was a tough task due to player availability.
“I enjoyed it, it was really good. We had a tough start and a few problems getting people to train and a couple of players left early doors and we really struggled to get a team out at times,” he said.
“I was in a situation in January and February where I was trying to sign players on a Friday night, just to get a team out. It wasn’t until ten games to go that we could say that we had 14 or 15 players that we could rely on every week.
“But, we stuck at how we believe the game should be played in terms of being organised and making sure the back four was organised. As the season went on, the game-plan we had started to work and we finished off with 20 plus points out of the last ten games. We were comfortably safe in the end and what was pleasing was the way some of the players improved and listened to us.”
Welfare’s first friendly is at Silsden on the 16th July, while Hunter’s first signings will start to filter out publicly after July 1st when the registration window opens.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Matlock Town sign Danny Holland as Avenue boss John Deacey releases three

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Matlock Town boss Mark Atkins has gone for another experienced forward after signing released Bradford (Park Avenue) striker Danny Holland.
Holland, who limped off early on his Avenue debut last August, scored 13 times for Avenue last season and returns to Matlock for a second spell.
Atkins decided to sign experience last summer when he recruited Lee Ellington, who failed to make an impact for Matlock and left at the end of a disappointing campaign.
Holland is one of three players that have been released by Avenue boss John Deacey.
Former Worksop Town winger Jamie Jackson has left along with Matty James (pictured above).
James, who was Deacey’s first signing as Avenue boss in December 2008, is likely to be on Farsley AFC’s radar having spent time on loan at Throstle Nest at the end of last season.

Simon Houghton appointed as the new Shaw Lane Aquaforce boss

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Former Pontefract Collieries boss Simon Houghton is the new manager of NCEL Division One newbies Shaw Lane Aquaforce.
Houghton makes his return as a number one after two seasons as assistant.
Houghton brings a wealth of Division One experience to Shaw Lane having built up solid reputation at Pontefract, Glasshoughton Welfare and then Athersley last season.
Houghton raised Pontefract from the dead in 2008 and guided them to two top ten finishes before his infamous sacking in March 2011.
He then joined Craig Elliott as his assistant at Glasshoughton a few months later and helped them win promotion to the Premier Division.
After leaving following Elliott’s departure to Ossett, Houghton moved to Athersley and was a coach as they clinched promotion in their first campaign as an NCEL club.
He will be now hoping the same magic can rub off on Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior League champions Shaw Lane - should Penistone's appeal fail.
The appointment is potentially a masterstroke by the hieraghy at Shaw Lane as Houghton knows the league inside and has an impressive contacts book to match – alongside a proven track record.
An Athersley Recreation statement said: “We would like to thank him for all his efforts and for playing a major part in the fantastic 2012/2013 season which saw us promoted to the NCEL Premier Division.
“We wish him well and good luck in his new role.”

Gary Allanson returns to Bridlington Town as Mitch Cook's successor

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Gary Allanson has sensationally returned to Bridlington Town as Mitch Cook’s successor.
Allanson only returned to the game a few weeks ago after two years out when he was appointed as the new Winterton Rangers assistant manager.
However, Cook’s shock departure from Queensgate yesterday has paved the way for Allanson to be given the job he quit in 2011.
Allanson, father of players Ashley and Aaron, has received a fantastic response to his appointment having led Brid to the NCEL Premier Division title in 2010.
Winterton are now searching for a new assistant manager.

Albion Sports to play at Farsley AFC next season

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson
NCEL Premier Division newcomers Albion Sports will play at Throstle Nest, the home of Farsley AFC, during the 2013-14 season.
The Division One champions were told to look elsewhere for a ground after been told that Horsfall Stadium was no longer available.
Since joining the NCEL two years ago, Albion have battled constant pitch problems at Horsfall.
Last season, both Albion and Bradford (Park Avenue), who also use Horsfall, had to face a tough schedule towards the end of the season because of postponements.
Fortunately Albion were able to strike a deal with Farsley chairman John Palmer ahead of Kulwinder Sandu’s side Premier Division debut.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Bridlington Town set to name Mitch Cook's successor in next few days

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Bridlington Town are set to announce their new manager in the next few days after Mitch Cook stepped down.
Cook, who took over at Queensgate two years ago after leaving Northern Counties East League Premier Division rivals Pickering Town, has cited work commitments as the reason.
Cook also previously managed Guiseley in the mid 1990s.
In a statement, Bridlington chairman Peter Smurthwaite said: “I would like to thank Mitch on behalf of the club for his work over the last two seasons which resulted in the team finishing second and third in the league and also for winning the ERCFA Senior Cup in 2012 at the KC Stadium.
“I have been pleased to have worked with Mitch and thank him for his honesty and integrity in carrying out the job and wish him well for the future.
“I don’t think people know the commitment a manager needs even at this level of football which although is a part time position requires a lot of time and effort in doing the job properly, it does not just involve work on match days and takes up a lot of time during the rest of the week.
“Mitch has always given 100% commitment and feels that due to his circumstances, could not possibly do that during the coming season and hence the reason for his decision to stand down.
“He will always be welcome at Queensgate and hopefully we will see him at some of our games in the future.
“I expect to name a new manager within the next few days in order that we can keep the continuity with the current team and prepare for what will be a tough season ahead, with the league now having been extended to 24 teams.”
In Conference North news, Guiseley have signed Stockport County striker Craig Hobson.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Simon Clifford put Garforth Town on the football map

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Simon Clifford’s ten-year reign at Garforth Town is officially over.
Earlier today Clifford tweeted: “best wishes to RIASA, Garforth Town and all involved this coming season #timetomoveon.”
Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy will control team affairs at Wheatley Park next season in the NCEL Premier Division – leaving no place for Clifford.
A successful businessman with his Brazilian Soccer Schools, Clifford purchased debt-ridden Garforth in 2003 and leaving aside the problems that Garforth have encountered over the last year, Clifford’s time as owner has been mostly a success.
Two promotions and two West Riding County Cups speak for themselves. And there is also the record league finish that manager Steve Nichol pulled off last year.
But his main legacy is how he put Garforth on the football map.
Ask someone in London if he has heard of any of Garforth’s NCEL rivals, the answer would be probably no.
But, ask them if they have heard of Garforth then they would at least be say: ‘isn’t that where that Brazilian played?’
The 2004 appearance of former Brazil captain Socrates in a NCEL Division One match against Tadcaster Albion is the defining moment of Clifford’s reign.
During a time when newspaper coverage of non-league football locally has plummeted to the levels they were in the 1980s, Clifford got Garforth column inches locally and nationally. And then remember the television coverage.
He got people talking about Garforth and the Miners will probably never have as much interest ever again.

New broom in at Yorkshire Amateur

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Yorkshire Amateur have gone local with their appointment of joint managers Phil Harding and Lincoln Richards, the father of Manchester City star Micah Richards.
Harding and Richards have been joint managers of the successful Chapeltown Fforde Green Leeds Combination Sunday League side.  
A statement said: “Both come with a fantastic reputation across the region and a real sense of loyalty to the community the club serves.
“Most recently, they have been running Chapeltown Fforde Grene who have just had their most successful season yet being league and Senior Cup winners as well as runners-up in the County Cup and semi-finalists in the League Cup.
“Even before this official announcement, there has been a real buzz around the club, community and players, and we look forward again to a tough but enjoyable season in NCEL.”
The appointment is a shrewd one as Harding and Richards will bring the best players from the Chapeltown area to Bracken Edge which should pave the way for a successful season.
There is more pressure on the Ammers this year after finishing second bottom in the Northern Counties East League Division One table last season as the club feared being kicked out.
Former Farsley Celtic and Bridlington Town player Wayne Noteman was in charge until March when reserve team boss Glenn Preston stepped in, but he couldn’t improve the situation.
But, Harding and Richards provide real stability and a big contacts book that the Ammers desperately need.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Clubs to be consulted over NPL Division One East/West plan

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
The Northern Premier League Division One leagues could be switched to East and West next season, it was revealed at the League’s AGM in Blackpool today.
The issue has been at the forefront of debate ever since newly-promoted Scarborough Athletic were placed in the South Division by the FA last month.
League chairman Mark Harris, speaking at the AGM, said clubs would be consulted and that the East/West structure could be in place for next season.
East and West Divisions have been a popular choice for a number of club chairmen ever since the two league First Division was brought in for the 2006-07 campaign.
Harris also confirmed that the league are on the hunt for a new title sponsor.

Friday, 14 June 2013

A new dawn finally breaks for Garforth Town as the club goes American

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
The future of Garforth Town has finally been secured.
It also means that Simon Clifford’s influence on the club has been broken and is over – ending an awful year that has seen club officials use Twitter and other social media sites to abuse people.
The club finished bottom of the Evo Stik Division One North and were relegated to the Northern Counties East League.
RIASA are also behind Eccleshill United, whose head coach was former Leeds United striker Bobby Davision last season, in Division One and they revealed that they had negotiated a deal with Garforth owner Rupert Lowe for months.
RIASA director of operations Dawn Craven added, “Garforth is a fantastic club with great facilities, its board room and lounge is outstanding and fits the professional model we have developed at RIASA. It is the second biggest club in the city of Leeds, after Leeds United. The club's beautiful new stadium won the Leeds award for architecture in 2002.”
Garforth can now look forward to positive season in the NCEL Premier Division.
Town were accepted into the NCEL after a representative safely ensured the club were voted in at the AGM on Saturday.
Town will also have former Bradford City star Mark Ellis around.
Ellis, who is a safe pair of hands, is RIASA’s football director and has the task of appointing a new full-time head coach who will oversee both Garforth and Eccleshill.
Ellis has been looking for a replacement for Davison who left at the end of the season.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott signs two, retains five

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott has made his first signings of the summer, while also retaining a number of key players.
Former Farsley AFC captain Chris Walton moves to Ingfield, while Elliott has prized left-back Steven Jeff, who has a remarkable goal record, from NCEL Premier Division side Tadcaster Albion.  
Keeping young striker Jimmy Eyles was one of Elliott’s priorities and the forward has decided to remain with Ossett.
Also staying is centre-half Ryan Qualter who turned down Farsley.
Goalkeeper Matt Convey, Luke Richardson and midfielder Danny Patterson have also committed their futures to Ossett.
It is a positive start to the summer for Elliott and Ossett.
Jeff has proved himself as a top NCEL footballer who always seemed destined to be snapped up by an Evo Stik club at some point.
Walton has shown himself to be a good player – his spell at Buxton during their promotion seasons speak for themselves.  
He was then a major part of Steve Nichol’s Garforth Town team that reached the Evo Stik Division One North play-offs.
Walton may have struggled last season at his hometown team Farsley, but if he recaptures the form he has shown in the past Ossett have a quality player.
And the news that Eyles is fantastic for them so Elliott can be pleased with the start he has made.  

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

FA and Evo Stik League need to get a grip of Darlington 1883

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Darlington 1883’s financial position remains in “intensive care”, according to the club’s chief executive Martin Jesper, who spoke at tonight's fans' forum.
This is the club that has been tipped to waltz to glory in the Evo Stik Division One North next season.
Back in March, the club reported that they had debts of around £100,000. That figure may have been reduced since, but it is still concerning.
In fairness to Darlington, the majority of the debts belong to the old club and were agreed in the takeover deal last year.
However, it is still staggering to believe that the FA has allowed a demoted club to operate at such losses and still spend a large of money on players.
Compared with the majority of Evo Stik Division One clubs, Darlington’s support is massive and that does bring in greater revenue. But, that does not excuse the fact that they are running with a huge deficit.
And it is hardly a great endorsement for fan-owned clubs, especially after Chester FC’s announcement in February that they had £80,000 shortfall in their accounts.
The FA and Evo Stik league have to get a grip of Darlington and order them to reduce the debts to a reasonable level or face sanctions.
When a club makes a song and dance about signing three top North East players and then put their manager on a five-year contract, you would think the finances would be excellent – it would appear that they are not.
If they can clear the debts then Darlington could take off and be back in the Conference in no time.
However, allowing Darlington to continue ploughing money into the playing squad while operating with huge debts sends out the wrong message.

Robbie O'Brien and Lee Ellington will be great signings for Farsley AFC

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Both were expected, but nevertheless it still sends out the message that Farsley mean business this year and want to make amends for a disastrous 2012-13 campaign.
O’Brien demonstrated his superb leadership skills towards the end of a season that Farsley struggled over the finish-line due to injuries and play availability.
The game at champions Skelmersdale showed his ability as a player and leader. Farsley were at a low ebb, but O'Brien kept encouraging the team and refused to give in, despite the score.
He is the right man to lead Farsley on the pitch and with Matty Young also confirmed to be joining from Worksop Town, that’s two quality central midfielders.
Steve Mallory and Ryan Harrison have also agreed to stay so manager Neil Parsley has four excellent midfielders at his disposal.
But, while the news of O’Brien’s capture and appointment as captain is fantastic, so is the return of Lee Ellington to Throstle Nest.
The Duke made his mark during his first spell with the club in the Conference North.
Despite the club being in administration, Duke agreed to stay and was an instant hit with supporters, volunteers and management.
His last minute winner against Vauxhall Motors in October 2009 lifted the club off the bottom of the table for the first time that season and into 14th.
That was one of many memorable moments which were tarnished by Mazars’ brutal decision to close the club in March 2010.
The Duke moved onto Harrogate Town where after scoring twice on his debut at Ilkeston Town (pictured above, his first goal for Harrogate), injury struck and he struggled to get in Simon Weaver’s side.
In the summer of 2011, Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick ended his long pursuit of Ellington by signing the striker and ensured he got one more Conference North goal-laden year out of the Duke.
For whatever reason, things didn’t work at Matlock Town last season and he was released at the end of April.
Parsley was straight on the phone and the locally-based hit-man has agreed to come back and help lead a Evo Stik Division One North play-off push.
He might be 32, but the Duke will be a threat to all teams. He can head the ball, score goals, take fantastic free kicks and can hold the ball up. He also has a point to prove from his spell at Matlock, which ended in acrimonious circumstances.
Farsley have made a great decision bringing the Duke back.

Also staying are goalkeepers Tom Morgan (pictured above) and Ben Higginson, along with defender James Riley.
Midfielder Brice Tiani, who struggled in the last ten games of the season, departs.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Scarborough Athletic manager Rudy Funk makes another big signing

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Photo courtesy of Ryan Clark of ClarkHirstPhotography
Scarborough Athletic strengthened their position as Evo Stik Division One South title favourites after Rudy Funk pulled another rabbit out of the hat.
Harrogate Town defender Craig Radcliffe has agreed terms and will be playing at Queensgate next season.
Radcliffe was player of the season at Harrogate for the 2011-12 campaign, but only made six appearances last season.
However, Radcliffe, who can also play in midfield, is still a key signing for Funk’s men.
He adds experience and will be a solid play for Scarborough as they look for a second successive promotion.  

Monday, 10 June 2013

Sweeping changes to come at Garforth Town after Vernol Blair steps down

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Vernol Blair’s reign as Garforth Town manager appears to be at an end after claiming that Rupert Lowe intends to bring sweeping changes to the struggling Northern Counties East League Premier Division outfit.
Long-serving Blair thanked the club’s supporters and staff for their support during a turbulent year that could have easily seen Garforth fold.
Blair almost single-handily kept Garforth alive on-the-pitch, but he admitted on Twitter this morning that he will not be in charge next season.  
It means that Blair, who is an ideal candidate for the vacant Yorkshire Amateur post, ends his association with Garforth that has lasted almost a decade.
Blair tweeted: “I’ve spoke to Rupert (Lowe) and he’s bringing in people in someone (sic) to run the club from top to bottom, that’s all I know.”
Former Southampton chairman Lowe’s position at Garforth is still unclear as he is not listed as a director on Companies House.
His only business connection to Garforth and Town owner Simon Clifford is that he is a director of Futebol De Salao.
But, the future of Garforth needs to be resolved soon as the NCEL season begins on August 10th and the club currently appears to have no players on the books.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Gary Allanson becomes assistant manager at Winterton Rangers

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
2010 NCEL Premier Division title-winning manager Gary Allanson has returned to the NCEL after taking up the post of assistant manager at Winterton Rangers.
Allanson led Bridlington Town to glory in his first season in sole charge and then finished third in his second campaign before stepping down in April 2011.
Allanson had initially being joint-manager with Tim Hotte at Bridlington until the latter stepped down in May 2009.
Hull City coach Allanson, whose sons Ashley and Aaron have been regular fixtures at Bridlington as players, stayed away from the NCEL coaching scene until Winterton boss Leigh Herrick advertised for an assistant this week.
A Winterton statement said: “Gary is keen to work with and develop our first team which finished the season in such good form. With the addition of Gary and a number of other players we are all confident that the team will continue to progress.
“Manager Leigh Herrick spoke of his excitement of Gary joining the first team management team and the impact that he can make on the players.”

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Glasshoughton Welfare boss Rob Hunter set for reunion with old mate Paul Marshall in NCEL League Cup

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Glasshoughton Welfare boss Rob Hunter will cross swords with old mate and Tadcaster Albion manager Paul Marshall in the NCEL League Cup second round.
Hunter (pictured right) was assistant to Marshall at Tadcaster for four years and the pair, along with Mark Smitheringale (pictured left), orchestrated Albion’s rise from the bottom of Division One to Premier Division title contenders.
Hunter and Smitheringale left Ings Lane last summer and became the bosses at Glasshoughton in December and steered them to safety.
The pair remain in charge at Leeds Road and they have a reunion with Marshall to look forward to.
Other draws include Premier Division new-boys Athersley Recreation being drawn away at big-guns Bridlington Town.
The full draw is here:
Preliminary Round
Appleby Frodingham v Hemsworth Miners Welfare
Cleethorpes Town v Hallam
Pontefract Collieries v Shirebrook Town
Rossington Main v Louth Town
Selby Town v Clipstone
Teversal v Dinnington Town
First Round
AFC Emley v Teversal/Dinnington Town
Appleby Frodingham/Hemsworth Miners Welfare v Grimsby Borough
Bottesford Town v Hall Road Rangers
Dronfield Town v Shaw Lane Aquaforce/Penistone Church
Eccleshill United v Cleethorpes Town/Hallam
Rossington Main/Louth Town v Knaresborough Town
Pontefract Collieries/Shirebrook Town v Worsborough Bridge Athletic
Yorkshire Amateur v Selby Town/Clipstone
Second Round
AFC Emley/Teversal/Dinnington Town v Retford United
Albion Sports v Eccleshill United/Cleethorpes Town/Hallam
Appleby Frodingham/Hemsworth Miners Welfare/Grimsby Borough v Rossington Main/Louth Town/Knaresborough Town
Armthorpe Welfare v Thackley
Basford United v Brighouse Town
Bridlington Town v Athersley Recreation
Garforth Town v Bottesford Town/Hall Road Rangers
Glasshoughton Welfare v Tadcaster Albion
Hucknall Town v Long Eaton United
Liversedge v Dronfield Town/Shaw Lane Aquaforce/Penistone Church
Lincoln Moorlands Railway v Winterton Rangers
Nostell Miners Welfare v Staveley Miners Welfare
Parkgate v Heanor Town
Pickering Town v Pontefract Collieries/Shirebrook Town/Worsbrough Bridge Athletic
Worksop Parramore v Barton Town Old Boys
Yorkshire Amateur/Selby Town/Clipstone v Maltby Main

Garforth Town accepted into the Northern Counties East League

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Garforth Town have been officially accepted into the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
Garforth’s placement was ratified at today’s NCEL AGM in Scarborough.
The news brings some relief to the club’s supporters who remain in the dark over the club’s future.
Garforth, who were relegated from the Evo Stik Division One North, return to the NCEL structure for the first time since 2006 and join Basford United, Athersley Recreation, Albion Sports and Hucknall Town as the Division’s newcomers.
Garforth were also handed a home draw in the NCEL League Cup and will play either Bottesford Town or Hall Road Rangers in the second round.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Michael Burns returns to Guiseley

By James Grayson (@jamesAgrayson)
Midfielder Michael Burns is returning to Guiseley after a season away at Vauxhall Motors.
The expected news was confirmed along with the announcement that Andy Holdsworth has signed a two-year contract to stay at Nethermoor.
He joins Mark Bower, Macauley Parkinson and Rhys Meynell in agreeing to stay.
Guiseley have also signed young defender Jameel Ible, who recently spent time at League 2 club York City. 
Over at Harrogate Town, Simon Weaver has added another impressive name to his summer signings.
Striker Chris Hall has moved to Wetherby Road from Stalybridge Celtic.
Hall, who used to be a member of the cast of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, has plenty of experience having played for Oldham Athletic in the Football League.
Hall is a powerful forward and is the perfect replacement for Chib Chilaka who was released last month.
Hall fits the bill of Weaver’s desire to have a striker with more movement.
Conference North new-boys North Ferriby United have also moved swiftly to bring bodies to Church Lane.
Billy Heath has signed three players from Gainsborough Trinity – Danny Hone, Jamie Yates and Jonathan D’Laryea.
Matt Wilson, who confirmed his exit from Guiseley two weeks ago, has now been confirmed as a Ferriby player.

Russell Eagle appointed Worksop Parramore boss after leaving Parkgate

Russell Eagle is the new Worksop Parramore manager after leaving NCEL Premier Division rivals Parkgate.
Former Handsworth boss Eagle replaces Darren Bland and chairman Pete Whitehead said: “'I'm looking forward to working with Russ and to continue the clubs ambitions of climbing the football pyramid.”
Eagle won the NCEL Division One title with Handsworth before the club were booted out of the league for failing to meet ground grading requirements.
Eagle leaves Parkgate to join a club that has ambitions of reaching the Conference North.
Parkgate are now searching for a new manager and
applications must be in writing with CV to secretary Bruce Bickerdike by email or by fax on (01709) 528583.

Lewis Nightingale praises Mossley manager Steve Halford

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Lewis Nightingale has praised his manager Steve Halford and admits Mossley want to rest the demons from their devastating Evo Stik Division One North play-offs exit.
The former Huddersfield Town first year professional joined Mossley in December and featured nine times, but struggled heavily with injuries after suffering ankle ligaments damage twice during the season.
But, despite his problems, Nightingale, 23, wants to remain at Seel Park having enjoyed his time at the club and he admits that he has also been impressed with Halford, who led Mossley to play-offs in his first full season as a manager.
Halford has told him that he is in his plans for next season
“Steve Halford is a good manager and considering was his first year in management, he did a really good job last year,” he said.
“It’s a shame we didn’t go up.
“I didn’t realise at the time when I signed that the expectation weren’t to get in the play-offs and they were top when I signed.
“He has many different styles of management.
“He can motivate people when he needs to and he can also put his arm round players and tell them what he thinks of them to give them confidence.
“I like working under him and he gives you the confidence to go and play which is ideal for me.”
Mossley lost to Cammell Laird in the semi-finals of the play-offs after a last minute goal and midfielder Nightingale says the defeat will make the team more determined next season.
He said: “It was pretty heart-breaking to lose in the 93rd minute, but I don’t either team did enough to win the game so it just came down to one moment.
“Because of losing the game, I think we have a point to prove and I think if he (Halford) brings in one-or-two more faces then I think we will be there-or-there abouts again.”
Since being released from Huddersfield in the summer of 2010, Nightingale has struggled to settle in non-league football.
Bradford Park Avenue was the first port of call under Simon Collins, who was sacked after just three months in charge at Horsfall Stadium.
A brief stay at Frickley Athletic followed before he moved to Farsley AFC, helping the reformed club win the NCEL Premier Division title and NCEL League Cup.
Nightingale was released by Farsley boss Neil Parsley at the end of the season so he joined Harrogate Railway and played at Station View until Curzon Ashton came calling.
He was there for Curzon’s play-offs final defeat to Witton Albion.
Nightingale played for Goole at the beginning of last season before his move to Mossley and he admits that there is a huge difference between academy football and non-league football.
“Since leaving Huddersfield it has been difficult to adapt to the style of football,” he said.
“In the youth and reserves team winning isn’t the main aim as it is about developing players, whereas in non-league football, its win at all costs basically.
“It means managers can’t stick with players if they are not doing it.
“I feel I am getting there and getting used to it.”