Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tadcaster Albion call for emergency meeting after chairman Rob Northfield departs

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Tadcaster Albion have called for an emergency general meeting tomorrow night after the sensational resignation of chairman Rob Northfield on Monday.
Treasurer James Hamilton has also stepped down with only ten days until the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division season begins.
Manager Paul Marshall had hoped to launch another title bid, but Northfield’s shock departure may end his hopes.
Marshall had also been chasing Scarborough Athletic duo Tony Hackworth and Ryan Blott, but his interest is likely to be over.
Former Harrogate Railway and Guiseley chairman Northfield cited time constraints as the reason for his exit.
The meeting is at 8pm and as many B members, supporters and volunteers as possible are urged to attend.

A desire to stop travelling brought former Doncaster Rovers striker Jason Price to Ossett Town

Jason Price
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)

As a professional footballer, Jason Price was always on the road and a desire to “settle down” has led him to Evo Stik Division One North side Ossett Town.
Two weeks ago, the former Bradford City and Doncaster Rovers striker made the phone call to a surprised Ossett manager Craig Elliott offering his services.

Elliott quickly snapped the 36-year-old up to add experience to his young team and Price admits Ossett is the right club for him.
“I’ve been travelling football-wise all my life and I just thought I needed to settle down,” he said.

“I live in Huddersfield now and Ossett is a half-hour away so half-hour for me is literally on my doorstep and I’m happy with that.
“I just thought that I needed to stay local.

“I’m out to enjoy it. I went through a stage at Morecambe where I was playing one game and then missing three and it got a bit frustrating. I was travelling five hours a day.”

Price’s 18-year career started at Swansea City and taken him to the likes of Hull City, Tranmere Rovers, Millwall, among others.

In 2012, Price made a small number of appearances for Steve Kittrick at Guiseley before signing for Prestatyn Town in the Welsh Premier League.
Price left his mark in Wales with two goals in the Welsh Cup Final 3-1 win over Bangor City.

On his time at Prestatyn, he said: “I enjoyed playing for Prestatyn. I scored two goals in a cup final on Welsh TV, how about that!
“I enjoyed it and we were top of the league at Christmas, we were above TNS. But we hit a brick wall and I think we won two games out of the last lot of games.

“Obviously winning the Welsh cup was one heck of an achievement for the club because they went into Europe.
“Possibly (I would have stayed if it hadn’t been for the travelling) as they had a good bunch of lads, but it was two and a half hours each way and then we have Carmarthen and Port Talbot away. I’m 36 now.”

Price made his debut for Ossett at Pontefract Collieries last week and has played in their three friendlies and has been impressed.

“They’ve good a team, a good passing team and that suits me down to the ground,” he said.
“The gaffer said there was a good team spirit and that is all you need.

“It has been a good laugh with the other lads and I think this season they should go quite far.

“It is a level which is a bit new to me, but we’re got a good passing team and we have kept clean sheets in all of our three games so it is looking good.”

Ossett Town cruise to pre-season victory at Glasshoughton Welfare

Glasshoughton Welfare 0-5 Ossett Town
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Ossett Town manager Craig Elliott was delighted with his side’s performance at Glasshoughton, while Welfare boss Rob Hunter applauded the visitors’ display.

Ossett were exceptional against their Northern Counties East League Premier Division opponents and recorded a third consecutive pre-season friendly victory.
Veteran striker Jason Price put Ossett ahead in the first half before two second goals from Chris Wood and solitary strikes from Ryan Qualter and Gareth Grant completed the rout.

Elliott, who returned to Leeds Road for the first time as Ossett manager since leaving Glasshoughton last year weeks after guiding them to promotion, said: “We tried two different systems and it has given me a lot to think about. We changed it back to a 4-4-2 in the second half and it worked. Whether that was because they tired, I don’t know.
“The second halves in pre-season games are always difficult because of the amount of subs, but the first half was very pleasing. We played a lot of good football without creating as many chances as I would have liked – that’s why I put an extra man up front.

“I said to the lads who came on the second half that they have given me a lot to think about. I’ve used a lot of players again – 18 or 19. It has been another pleasing night. We got another clean sheet which is always a bonus.

“It is only pre-season and people are right when they say don’t look into results, but it is three clean sheets on the trot which is good when you are changing the defence so often.”

Glasshoughton rarely troubled an Ossett defence initially led by Patrece Liburd, who ended his trial at Farsley AFC last week, and Nick Wood which meant goalkeeper Tom Taylor and his replacement Matthew Convey had a quiet evening.

Speculative attempts from Price and Fernando Moke, now trialling at his third club this summer, were the only chances in the half-hour until Ossett scored from a mistake.
New Glasshoughton goalkeeper Paul Hagreen failed to deal with a back-pass and was dispossessed by former Tadcaster Albion left-back Steve Jeffs. He passed to Price and the ex-Doncaster Rovers striker kept his composure to score from 12-yards.

Glasshoughton lost captain Darrell Young and Joel Freestone, a signing from Knaresborough Town, to injury just before half-time and as the second half went on, tiredness began to kick in.
Elliott brought on the likes of Wood and Grant and they made Glassshoughton’s life even more difficult and Wood was quick to make his mark by rounding Hagreen for goal number two on 68 minutes.

Ossett were taking control and the third goal quickly followed when Richard Patterson crossed and Qualter headed home.

Ossett scored their third goal in seven minutes with 15 minutes remaining on the clock with a similar goal to the third. It was Dan Middleton the supplier this time and Wood gave Hagreen no chance with a powering header.
Ossett were not finished in the closing stages, Grant was able to round Hagreen and comfortably get his name on the score-sheet. Welfare boss Hunter admitted the result brought Glasshoughton back down to earth after Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Evo Stik Division One South side Lincoln United.
He said: “I said to Daz (captain Darrell Young) this morning that this could be a real come down for us and it could be a shock. I think it has proved to be that. They were a lot fitter than us and they kept the ball better than us and had the right experience and strength at the right end of the park to get the goals.
“It was a bit of a beating in terms of the result and score-line, however I still think we did ok. For an hour it was 1-0. I thought we did really well for an hour. I thought we kept good discipline and good shape and caused them a few problems by breaking up play.

“But they brought top quality substitutes on and they were different levels to my bench and that’s with no disrespect to my lads. It was just that they were very good. As we made some changes, they swamped it with quality. I said to the lads after the game, don’t get despondent off losing 5-0 to Ossett Town because I thought they were a very good side.”
Glasshoughton Welfare: Paul Hagreen, James Beaston, Dave Ward, Liam Tuck, Reece Chappell, Darryl Young (captain), Matt Donnelly, Russell Headley, Calum Ward, Steve Edwards, Joel Edwards. Subs: Ben Clayton, Kieran Corley, Blaine Kellet, Greig McGrory, Andy Sunley.

Ossett Town: Tom Taylor, Scott McGory, Steve Jeffs, Richard Patterson, Patrece Liburd, Nick Wood (captain), Luke Sharry, Andrew Fox, Jason Price, Will McGhie, Fernando Moke. Subs: Chris Wood, Matthew Convey, Dan Middleton, Smith, Luke Richardson, Hudson, Gareth Grant.
Referee: Andy Smith

Attendance: 65
Man of the match: Jason Price (Ossett Town)

Monday, 29 July 2013

Bridlington Town chairman Peter Smurthwaite: Northern League domination on FA Vase is unfair on NCEL clubs

Bridlington Town in action
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Bridlington Town chairman Peter Smurthwaite has called on the FA to review the Northern League’s status as a level nine league.
Mr Smurthwaite’s stance is taken from the Northern League’s dominance in the FA Vase which has seen a North East side win the competition for five consecutive seasons.
North Ferriby United were the last Northern Counties East League side to reach the Wembley final in 1997, while Brigg Town were the last NCEL winners when they won the trophy a year earlier.
Mr Smurthwaite believes the stronger Northern League should be taken out and placed in a new Division at level eight as NCEL clubs cannot compete with the North East clubs financially.
The Northern League has grown stronger since a number of clubs pulled out of the NPL including Whitley Bay, Spennymoor, Durham City and Bishop Auckland, leaving only a couple of North East clubs in the NPL.
“We haven’t been included in the draw yet because, I think, of the position we finished in the league last year,” he said.
“We are exempt for a couple of rounds, but if it is anything last year, we played Spennymoor the eventual winners in the first round and they were miles in front of us.
“I was speaking to one of their officials and they actually stayed at Scarborough overnight like a professional team. I think they had 22 players on contract and they virtually brought their full squad.
“Their wage bill sounded really good and I just think that the Northern League is so strong that it should be incorporated into the Evo Stik League as another Division, say the Division One North or North East.
“It is not quite an even playing field (financially), some Northern League clubs would dispute that. But the record stands for itself of how many Northern League teams have won the Vase in the last ten years.
“Whitley Bay won it three years on the trot and then Dunston won it. It is so difficult for us teams in the Northern Counties and unfortunately we seem to get drawn early-on against these teams. To be fair, even at home, we struggle against these teams because there is a difference in the level of football we’re playing at.
“I don’t think it is particularly good for the Vase because it is limiting the rest of the country’s opportunities. It has virtually become a North East party day.”
Mr Smurthwaite, who believes the Vase is not just about the prize money as “it is an opportunity to go to Wembley", has been a long-term advocate of introducing a new division and has previously given his views to NCEL league officials and also the media.
“I wrote to the Non-League Paper a couple of years saying that I didn’t think it was an even playing field in the Vase,” he said.
“There were a few responses with a few different people writing and I noticed that there were a couple of letters at the back end of last season suggesting more-or-less what I’m suggesting.”
Bridlington Town boss Gary Allanson
Mr Smurthwaite has also praised Bridlington manager Gary Allanson who returned to the club last month after Mitch Cook’s departure.
“I was pleased Gary was able to take over because he had a fantastic record when he was at the club before, we won the league,” he said.
“He’s been out of management game for a couple of years, but he has missed it and he had real desire and hunger to come back and do it. The players really respect him and he’s a fantastic coach. He puts on great coaching sessions and he has a lot of contacts as well, via his work at the Hull City academy, to bring in young players which is what we are doing now.
“We’re building up nicely. It was pretty difficult with Gary coming in late to take over. The early part of pre-season has been disrupted, but now we’re getting into it we’re looking sharp again.”

Garforth Town sign nine players

Garforth Town head coach Graham Nicholas
Garforth Town head coach Graham Nicholas has made his first nine signings as he begins to put the finishing touches to his squad for the August 10th Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division kick off against Thackley.

Goalkeeper Dominic Smith, who had a magnificent game against Farsley AFC last week, has put pen to paper along with defender Joshua Greenhalgh.
Ossett Albion target Nick Black is another who has committed his future to Wheatley Park.
Garforth's Nick Allen
Jack McMurrough, Alex Booker, Jack Kirk, Nick Allen, Joshua Hemingway and Moise Misambu have also signed forms.
Garforth Town would like to welcome the new players to the club and we hope they have a long and successful time with us.

Bridlington Town midfielder Ashley Allanson relishing new player-coach role

Ashley Allanson
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Ashley Allanson will use his new player-coach role at Northern Counties East League Premier Division side Bridlington Town to aid his own future.
Allanson, who holds the UEFA B coaching license, was appointed to the job after the return of his father Gary as Bridlington manager last month.
The midfielder holds the role alongside player-assistant Wayne Aziz and having been a coach at the Hull City Academy for eight years, Allanson believes the time was right to get involved in coaching at semi-professional level.
He said: “With me being down here for nearly six years and having a bit more responsibility and having coaching qualifications, he (father Gary) asked if I wanted to step up and do a bit more of the coaching side as well as playing.
“I said it sounded good and took the role and to start with in the first few sessions I was just bedding into it and helping set up while my dad took the sessions. Recently though I have had a bit more confidence and I’ve took a few warm-ups.
“It is a role that I wanted to take for my own development.”

Allanson remains a key player in Bridlington’s midfield. He joined the club in July 2008 after his father and Tim Hotte were appointed as joint-managers.
He won the Premier Division title in 2010 with Bridlington and been involved in East Riding Senior Cup triumphs.
When asked on whether he did think he was too young for the role, he said: “Yes and no. I’ve 26 now and nearly 27 and there is a lot more young coaches getting into the game.
“I know Mark Jackson at Farsley and I know he is a bit older than me, but he has done really well since he has gone into coaching.
“Because I have been coaching a long time and at the level I have coached with the Hull City academy lads, I think it may be the right time. I know some people may say I’m a bit young. But because I have the experience playing-wise as well the coaching at Hull, I thought the role was something I could implement and incorporate into my own personal development.
“It is something good to have on the CV and it is going to be difficult from a young age to get the respect of the players, but luckily because I’m a well-established player here, you are hoping you have the respect anyway. To be fair the lads have responded quite well.”
Until joining Bridlington, former Scunthorpe youngster Allanson had been playing for then Conference National outfit Farsley Celtic. He had been loaned out to North Ferriby United in January 2008 before being released by Farsley the following summer.
Despite dropping four divisions to play for Bridlington, Allanson has always remained loyal and he explained why: “When I left Farsley I was at Hull University doing my studies and I wasn’t getting much game-time so I had to make a decision to whether get some game-time or be happy sat on the bench getting bit-parts.
“At the time, rightly or wrongly I decided to go to North Ferriby and it didn’t really work out for me. I struggled to get to grips with the level and the intensity. It is a bit different as you drop down the leagues.
“I fell out of love with the game and I was 20-21 and I didn’t have a clue where I was going to go. That’s when my dad took the joint manager role at Bridlington and he asked me to come and get my enjoyment back.
“I’ve loved it here ever since and I have had a few offers to move to a higher level and move on, but I’ve always stayed here because it is right for me. I love the club and before my dad came back in, I had a good two years with Mitch Cook. And with my dad coming back in, it was right to stay on again.
“The level suits me down to the ground in terms of travelling distances and I’ve always felt it was a good family club. I get on well with the staff, the fans and the chairman Pete (Smurthwaite).”

Saturday, 27 July 2013

North Ferriby win is a "confidence boost" - Bridlington Town boss Gary Allanson

Scott Phillips, who scored a hat-trick for Bridlington against North Ferriby
Bridlington Town 7-0 North Ferriby United X1
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos can be seen HERE
Bridlington Town manager Gary Allanson believes the hammering of North Ferriby United reserves serves as a “confidence boost”.
Bridlington were never in danger of losing to the young Ferriby team and Allanson’s men cruised to a first pre-season victory.
Craig Hogg opened the floodgates before Scott Phillips scored a hat-trick, young striker Darren Rookes grabbed a brace and Ben Silburn added the seventh late-on.
Town had lost their opening two friendlies to Scarborough Athletic and then Beverley Town so Allanson was happy to get off the mark with his understrength team.  
Bridlington Town manager Gary Allanson
“It was a confidence boost and as we were saying to the lads, sometimes you need a game like that where it was just a little bit easier,” he said.
“You can get your foundations set along with your philosophies and ethos so it becomes second nature. To be honest if Ferriby had sent a full-strength side, we would have struggled today because we had a few lads out. Wayne Aziz, Chris Jenkinson and Tommy Lee missing so there is three top players that would have fitted in there. They are big players for us.
“It was comfortable, but credit to Ferriby because they only had a young side out. But we did things in the right way and the right manner.
“(In the second half) we mixed and matched (with a few of the young lads) because we need to have a look at them. They are going to be on the periphery, but for the first two months of the season we are going to be playing two games a week so they are going to come in and get a fair chance.”
Four minutes is all it took for Hogg to score. Indecisive defending led to the striker being unchallenged on the edge of the box and he simply fired the ball into the bottom corner.
Silburn had a free kick well saved before Phillips rounded the Ferriby goalkeeper for his first of the afternoon. Midway through the opening half, Phillips lobbed the visitors’ stopper for goal number three.
At half-time, Allanson shuffled his side around and allowed his younger players the chance to impress. Rookes took only three minutes to do so. The striker held off the challenge from the defender and was able to poke the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.
Darren Rookes scores his first of two goals
Phillips completed his treble on the hour mark with a similar goal. That made the score 5-0, but Bridlington were not finished. Rookes scored again and celebrated by doing a number somersault’s in front of the main stand.
In the 88th minute, Silburn found himself through on goal and neatly lobbed the goalkeeper to round a high-scoring afternoon off.
Bridlington host Grimsby Borough on Monday night at Queensgate.  
Bridlington Town: Wilberforce, Belt, Brunton, Allanson, Metcalfe, Pujdak, Phillips, Fleming, Hogg, Silburn, Ricketts. Subs: Sutton, Faulkner, Rookes, Morritt, Paylor.
Referee: W Grunill (Hull)
Attendance: 84
Man of the match: Scott Phillips

Friday, 26 July 2013

Garforth Town head coach Graham Nicholas to trim squad after Farsley AFC defeat

Aiden Savory (right) congratulates Lee Ellington on his first goal
Garforth Town 1-3 Farsley AFC
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Garforth Town head coach Graham Nicholas will swing his axe on underperforming players this week following a pre-season friendly defeat to Farsley AFC at Wheatley Park.
Nicholas was furious with the second half capitulation that could have easily led to a heavier defeat if goalkeeper Dominic Smith hadn’t made a number of top saves.
Although Garforth did take the lead through Connor Bower’s wonder goal, Farsley dominated the match and two goals from Lee Ellington and a James Riley header secured the victory.
Garforth head coach Graham Nicholas
Nicholas said: “The players that are going to be signed on performed very well for me, but they are playing with some players that I think are cheating themselves.
“They shouldn’t be here and they won’t be here after that performance.
“I’m not happy at all. I know we played higher opposition, but I’m asking the players to do some roles and responsibilities. In training they understood those roles and obviously they can’t apply it in games. I’m fuming at that result.
“We’ve done attacking drills in training, but to apply them you have to have the right attacking players. In midweek I was let down by a couple of players because they had work commitments, but when those players come in, I’m more confident that performances and the results will improve.”
Farsley’s status as an Evo Stik Division One North club showed and Aiden Savory almost put the visitors ahead early-on with fine strike that cannoned back off the post.
As the half-hour mark approached, on their first real attack, Garforth scored against the run of play. Bower held off former Guiseley right-back Anthony Lloyd in the corner of the penalty area and then lifted the ball up before volleying the ball high in the air and into the bottom corner – goalkeeper Tom Morgan did not have a chance of stopping it.  
Garforth celebrate Connor Bower's wonder goal
Farsley didn’t deserve to be behind and quickly levelled matters. Savory saw a thunderous effort tipped over the crossbar and from the corner Riley headed past Smith.
The second half continued at Farsley’s pace, but Garforth were inviting trouble by playing with a high defensive line that Ellington and Savory made easy meat of exposing.
Ten minutes into the second half, Ellington was able to get in between two Garforth defenders to poke the ball past Smith and put Farsley ahead for the first time in the game.
Ellington went close with two headers before Farsley were awarded a penalty with ten minutes left on the clock after a foul on captain Robbie O’Brien. Ellington converted it.
Dominic Smith denies Aiden Savory
Further chances followed for Farsley. English Colleges star Jarrod Smalley broke through and was only denied a goal on his debut because of a fantastic save by Smith.
Ellington then nearly turned provider when his superb weighted pass sent Savory away. Smith denied the striker again with fourth save from a one-on-one situation.
Farsley now have a ten day break before welcoming Bradford Park Avenue to Throstle Nest on August 10th, while Garforth host Worsbrough Bridge on Tuesday night.
Garforth Town: Dominic Smith, Moise Misambu, Josh Greenhaigh, Senio Bubacar Cadsama Conte, Nick Allen, Chris Ndukuba, Marko Baldelli, Jack McMurrough, Nick Black, Viktor Balis, Connor Bower. Subs: Ben Jackson, Taran Jheeta, Josh Hemingham, Brandon Dube, Alex Booker, Jack Kirk.
Farsley AFC: Morgan, Lloyd, Serrant, Young, Riley, O’Neil, Hull, Mallory, Ellington, Savory, Thompson. Subs: O’Brien, Miller, James, Etherington, Smalley, Higginson.
Referee: M Dywer
Man of the match: Lee Ellington (Farsley AFC)

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Glasshoughton Welfare boss Rob Hunter tips striker Callum Ward to shine

Glasshoughton striker Callum Ward
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Rob Hunter is tipping former Tadcaster Albion striker Callum Ward to shine for Glasshoughton Welfare during the 2013-2014 Northern Counties East League Premier Division season.
Ward hit the headlines last season when he scored a hat-trick for Tadcaster in their sensational FA Cup second qualifying round victory over eventual Evo Stik Division One North champions Skelmersdale United.
However, Albion boss Paul Marshall decided not to retain the striker and Glasshoughton manager Hunter is hopeful that Ward will be a hit at Leeds Road.
“Callum is a good signing for us from Tadcaster along Kieran Corley from Liversedge and they will stand us in good stead for the season.
“Callum scored 15 goals for Tadcaster last year and I don’t think the Tadcaster Albion chairman (Rob Northfield) was too pleased with his antics towards the end of the season and I think they made a decision that they weren’t going to invite him back.
“He has played two pre-season games for Harrogate Railway and a game for Pontefract. But the fact that Callum has made the decision to sign for us is a real bonus.
“I haven’t got any problems with Callum. He’s the sort of player that needs to be loved and he needs people talking to him all the time. He needs to be trusted and he needs to repay us for that.
“He will do, I’m sure he will. He scored 15 goals for Tadcaster and I think he only started 20-plus games. I think if he starts 40 games this year, I’m very confident that he will score 20-plus goals.”
Glasshougton's Darrell Young
Ward is part of a four-man strike-force with Corley, Tom Woolard and Rob Pell. They are four of 20 players that Hunter has signed on.
Joel Freestone and Matthew Donnelly has joined from Knaresborough and Hunter has beat off competition from Garforth Town to sign 19-year-old goalkeeper Paul Hagreen from Liversedge.
Andy Sunley, James Beaston, Blaine Kellett, Liam Tuck, Greig McGrory, Darrell Young and Ally Wilson are among those staying at Leeds Road.
Freddie Swales will be involved, but is going to University in September. Two players who are definitely moving on are Jack Nodder and Matt Stirland who are off to Australia in September.
His squad have taken part in three games so far. At Silsden, Billingham Synthonia and against Harrogate Railway on Tuesday night and Hunter has been pleased with what he has seen.
“We went to Silsden and used 22 players, I saw seven or eight of them for the first time,” he said.
“We played three 30 minutes and in fairness there was nothing in the game, it could have either way. We conceded late in the game and we had seven or eight trialists on the pitch so I don’t take any detrimental effects away from that game.
“However, Billingham away on Saturday was a real wake-up call because we went there full of confidence with a 19 strong players and we got totally passed off the pitch.
“They were exceptional and four or five of our lads came off at half-time wondering what had hit them. That was great because we have worked hard all pre-season, had a steady run-out at Silsden and then it was bang: ‘welcome to it lads’.
“It stood us in good stead for Tuesday night because we came with a better attitude. We got our rewards because we worked exceptionally hard.”
Glasshoughton boss Rob Hunter
The 14th August is when Glasshoughton start their season at Staveley Miners Welfare. The NCEL calendar actually begins on the Saturday, but because of Hucknall Town’s withdrawal, one team will down tools each Saturday.
Welfare are the first ‘victims’, but Hunter is refusing to moan and has arranged an additional friendly against 2012 FA Vase runners-up West Auckland Town on August 6th at Leeds Road.
He said: “It was a little bit frustrating so what we have had to do is go out there and get another game.
“As soon as Hucknall dropped out, I suspected it would be us (who missed out on a game on the first day). I don’t know why, I just had this horrible feeling.
“We have had to put an extra training session in. My schedule was fully mapped out as before the first training session, I knew every session we were doing, every game and how many players I needed for each one.
“I have left the Saturday (10th August) free because it means I will be watching Staveley at Bridlington. (Assistant) Mark Smitheringale will be watching either Garforth or Brighouse.”

Budget cut won't deter Harrogate Railway boss Billy Miller

Harrogate Railway boss Billy Miller
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Harrogate Railway chief Billy Miller believes a budget cut won’t stop them because players love playing at Station View.  
Despite the cut, Miller has retained most of last season’s team – only Danny Hull (Farsley AFC), Dan Coupland, Joe McCann, goalkeeper Sam Dobbs, Alex Hallam and Bradford-based Damian Hopkins have moved on.
Loyal players such as Colin Hunter, captain Jon Maloney, Paddy McGuire, Simon Parkes and Simon Wood remain and will play alongside new signings Chris Hanney (Liversedge) and centre-half Billy Williams (Barnoldswick Town).
Evo Stik Division One North safety is the priority this season and Miller claims that his and assistant Lee Ashforth’s management style ensures players stay with the club.  
“We’re in a better position than what we were this time last season so if we can emulate the 41-42 points we got last year – that’s our starting point, it has got to be,” he said.
“We have always said that a point a game will guarantee staying up. To go down on 42 points would be quite harsh. If we can do that – a point a game – that will be our target, whilst the club builds from the inside out.
“We need to get the financial status right at the club first. The player budget won’t increase. The clubhouse has taken a lot out of the club and it needs just a little bit of time to mature and get established in the community. The rest will then follow.
“All we have to do this year is maintain our status as an Evo Stik side. In terms of the season, if we can improve on last season’s performance then everything after that is a bonus.
“The budget has been cut slightly. We are operating on a really small budget. But, the key for us is creating an environment that lads can come and enjoy their football in.
“We’re not screamers and shouters. We give the lads a job to do and then we ask them to go and do it. If it is not going right, we talk about it at half-time or after the game. We’re trying to create an environment that people want to come and play, which how we have got your Craig Radcliffe’s, Rob Youhill, Tino, Jesus who are good players at this level, but are still playing for us.
“They play us because we have an environment that we’re not screaming and shouting at them all the time.
“There is no pressure on us because we haven’t got a big budget which means expectations are not too high so lads can come and enjoy themselves.”
Since leaving Liversedge last summer to take charge of Railway, Miller has been busy trying to establish his club in the community.
Miller, a lecturer at Askern Bryan College, has linked the club and neighbours Harrogate Town to the college, while also building a friendship with Town boss Simon Weaver.
Rob Youhill, Liam Hardy, Craig Radcliffe, Dan Clayton and highly-rated goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray appeared on loan for Railway from Town last season and Miller admits the special relationship with Town is vital.
“It is massive and Simon Weaver over the past year has become not just a colleague of the game, but a really good friend of myself and (assistant Lee Ashforth) Ashy,” he said.
“Whilst I was away last week, Ash was in constant contact and conversation with him. We talk quite a lot about players because we can benefit each other. We are in a position where we’re going around the Evo Stik North league where there is a lot of good players so we can pass on hints and tips and say ‘look this lad is doing really well at this club and it might be someone you want to look at’.
“The more players that come in between the two clubs then the better for us. We can only benefit from it. Sometimes if there are budgets to cover then it doesn’t work out for us, lads go elsewhere.
“What we try to do and it certainly happened with Rob Youhill. Rob came in and really enjoyed it and went back. On the back of that we picked up Dan Clayton. He came in and really enjoyed it and before we know it, the lads who are on the fringes of the team are going to Simon to ask if they can come.
“I go back to what I said at the start, it is about creating that environment where they are enjoying their football and it is not about picking up their £100 a week up.”
Josh Windass
Miller received some good news on Tuesday when Josh Windass, son of Hull City legend Dean, signed a one-year-deal with Accrington Stanley.
Windass appeared a few times at the end of last season for Railway and the Railway boss was delighted that midfielder had got a move to a League Two club.
“I was chatting to Josh a couple of days ago and he broke his arm at the last game of the season at Mossley,” he said.
“Josh played for us last season and he could have moved on. He was really complimentary and said: ‘thanks for everything’. I’m so chuffed for the kid because he deserves everything he has got because he never stopped believing when he was released (from Huddersfield Town).
“All we did was give him the environment to go and enjoy himself.
“He was planning to come back this season, but he picked up the opportunity to go and train with Accrington. He did really well and played against Everton and Tranmere.
“It is massive satisfaction for us because as a club we know where we are and know where we want to be and know how we are going to get there. It is just going to be a time-consuming process.
“It is a great club, a community club right in the heart of the community and the key thing for us is the establishment of the relationship with Harrogate Town because it is massive for us.”

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Three experienced strikers sign for Ossett Town

Gareth Grant
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott has added an array of experience to his forward line today with the signings of former Doncaster Rovers man Jason Price and Farsley AFC striker Gareth Grant.
Elliott have also signed Chris Wood from Frickley Athletic which sees his four man strike force complete. Jimmy Eyles is the other forward.
Price and Grant made their debuts last night in Ossett’s 2-0 victory at Pontefract Collieries – a game Wood did appear in.
Elliott has been chasing Grant for a couple of weeks since it became apparent that the 32-year-old would not be returning to Throstle Nest after four memorable seasons.
He was a fans’ favourite at Farsley and won the management player of the year two seasons in a row in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
He wasn’t as effective last season when Farsley struggled in the Evo Stik Division One North, but the Villagers wanted to keep him at Throstle Nest. He would have had a reduced role as Aiden Savory and Lee Ellington are set to start the season as Farsley’s main strikers.
A deal couldn’t be struck so Grant joins his pal goalkeeper Tom Taylor at Ingfield.
The signing of Price, subject to international clearance, only became a possibility in the last few days.
Price, who is training to be a gas engineer, made his name during spells with Swansea City and Doncaster Rovers before moving into non-league. He played for Steve Kittrick at Guiseley until a move to Prestatyn Town.
He has been looking for club in the West Yorkshire area and was placed on Ossett’s radar over the weekend. And when Price contacted him, Elliott quickly snapped the experienced frontman up.

Honours even between Glasshoughton Welfare and Harrogate Railway

Jesus Martin-Farina puts Railway 1-0 up
Glasshoughton Welfare 1-1 Harrogate Railway
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Glasshoughton Welfare manager Rob Hunter was delighted after his side nearly stole a late victory against Evo Stik Division One North side Harrogate Railway.
The Northern Counties East League Premier Division outfit had fallen behind late-on in the first half when Railway’s striker Spanish striker Jesus Martin-Farina scored.
But a Joel Freestone penalty levelled matters with 19 minutes remaining and Railway had to survive a barrage of Glasshoughton attacks to earn a draw.
Joe Jackson almost scored and Greig McGrory had a goal-bound shot saved and despite not winning, Hunter was very pleased with the result.
“We probably should have won it, we had more chances in the last 20 minutes than they did,” he told Sports Performer.
“We probably should have had three or four goals (at the end) so I’m really pleased with the run-out. I’m getting to know (Harrogate boss) Billy (Miller) really well now. He helped me out with a couple of players last year and he brought a really strong side. He only had one or two players missing from his starting eleven.
“It was fantastic for us to get a draw against an Evo Stik side to start with, but as much as anything, I had four or five players who played 90 minutes for the first time. The ones who played 90 minutes are not here on Saturday. Liam Tuck is not here and Blaine Kellett is at a wedding on Saturday.
Glasshoughton's James Beaston
“Ally Wilson was outstanding tonight and he is away for Saturday. Ally was head and shoulders above everyone and that’s a lad who hasn’t kicked a ball for eight months. He was playing for Glasshoughton last season and did his hernia.
“Other players that I was really pleased with were Ben Clayton who has come from the West Yorkshire League and did tremendously well. He tried to man-mark Rob Youhill which is never an easy job.”
Railway were the strongest side in the first half when Railway boss Billy Miller had his big guns playing – the likes of experienced midfielders Paddy McGuire and Simon Parkes showed their quality.
Glasshoughton had the first chance of the match when captain Daz Young saw his powerful strike tipped over the crossbar by goalkeeper Chris Barrow.
Glasshoughton captain Daz Young climbs above Simon Parkes
That was Welfare’s last chance of the first half and Railway struck with one of their first opportunities of the game. Tinotenda Chibharo broke clear on the right-wing and played a flat cross into the path of Martin-Farina who was able to roll the ball into the net, despite the attempts of the Glasshoughton defenders.
Railway’s control on the game began to slip in the second half when multiple changes were made by both sides. The introduction of lively striker Freestone provided problems for Railway as Welfare were looking threatening.
And with 71st minute mark approaching, Freestone broke away from Radcliffe. As the pair ran into the box, the former Harrogate Town defender made a needless challenge – the only black spot for him during a fine game – leaving the referee with the only option of awarding the penalty.
Freestone took the spot kick himself and sent former Farsley AFC goalkeeper James Wilson the wrong way to level the scores.
At the other end, Chibharo fired wide from distance before Glasshoughton took control for the last five minutes.
Welfare should have scored from Liam Tuck’s cross, but Joe Jackson put the ball wide of the post from only a few yards out.
Tuck, himself, then went close with a volley from the edge of the box.
And in the final minute, McGrory’s strike from 20-yards was palmed by Australian stopper Wilson and Freestone looked certain to score the winner from the rebound. However, the striker got too much power on the ball and it went high and over the crossbar.
Robbie Youhill
For Railway boss Miller, fitness was the main target. He said: “For us, we have played three games since we came back two weeks ago and the first five games are aimed at getting miles on our boots.
“We’re not interested in the results. If we get the win like we did on Sunday against Emley that’s fine, 1-1 is fine, we’re happy with that.
“We changed the shape of the team and used 19 players and I think the eleven that started tonight did well. There are lots of positives – the performances of Craig Radcliffe, Robbie Youhill and Tino.
“We probably had four or five missing tonight, Nathan Cartman, Billy Williams, a really good centre-half among them, so in terms of where we want to be, we are where we want to be at this stage.
“We play again on Thursday and then on Saturday so by Saturday, we’ll start looking at the 22-23 players we have got and maybe start whittling it down a bit.”
Railway visit Daisy Hill tomorrow night (Thursday), while Glasshoughton welcome Lincoln United to Leeds Road on Saturday.
Glasshoughton Welfare: Hagreen, Donnelly, Kellet, Clayton, Wilson, Reece Chappell, Beaston, Young, Carley, Tuck, Ward. Subs: Freestone, Headley, Hirst, Jackson, Edwards, McGrory.
Harrogate Railway: Barrow, Wood, Hunter, Youhill, Maloney, Parkes, McGuire, Chibharo, Martin-Farina, Radcliffe, Curtis. Subs: Wilson, Barylski, Moke, Williams, Hanney.
Referee: M Dywer
Man of the match: Robbie Youhill (Harrogate)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Audio Interview with Glasshoughton Welfare chairman Phil Riding

Glasshoughton Welfare chairman Phil Riding sings the praises of manager Rob Hunter and looks ahead to the Northern Counties East League Premier Division season.


Monday, 22 July 2013

The only way is up, says Ossett Albion boss Richard Tracey

Ossett Albion manager Richard Tracey 
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Richard Tracey wants to turn perennial strugglers Ossett Albion into Evo Stik Division One North top half contenders.
For the past four seasons, Albion have struggled at the bottom of the Division. After finishing sixth in 2009, financial problems hit Ossett and they had two relegation reprieves under former manager Eric Gilchrist.
Gilchrist left after ten years at the helm in 2011 and reserve team managers Lloyd Fellows and Paul Watson took over. The pair led Albion to an 18th place finish before a disastrous run of form last season ended with them being sacked in March as the club appeared to be staring at relegation.
Tracey and Steve Nicholson were appointed caretaker managers and steered Albion to safety which earned the former the job on a permanent basis.
The 34-year-old former Rotherham striker is now aiming to banish the ‘strugglers’ tag.
“It is always going to be a tough,” he told Sports Performer.
“Darlington have come into the league and have a massive budget and I have just read about a £30,000 sponsorship deal they have coming in – that’s the sort of money that would make a massive difference to any club, regardless of the level.
“What I hope it doesn’t become is a league with two leagues within it with the top half and bottom being completely different.
“I’d like it to be competitive and that we can be competitive now and not just aiming for points against teams around us. I want us looking to pinch points off higher ranking teams.
“We want to be top half – that’s a competitive and realistic aim.
“I think for three or four seasons the club has been in relegation battles or fighting until the end to stay in the Division.
“As a club, the priority is to come away from that and to build on that and be competitive and being in the top half would be the next step.
“It is a bit ambitious, but you have to set your aims high and if I was to say mid-table, I wouldn’t be unsatisfied with it. But I think we have a squad that can be competitive.
“I think we have got some quality in areas we needed and hopefully we have some more to come that will strengthen even more.”
Captain Stefan Holt, Tyrone Gay, Henry Owen and goalkeeper Adam Rhodes are among the 13 players from last season who have signed on.
Former Guiseley striker Adam Muller has joined as player-assistant and this week, Tracey recruited Nick Black and Farsley AFC midfielders Ryan Harrison and Craig Tonkinson.
And Tracey, who intends to continue playing this season, admits there may be more new faces arriving at Dimple Wells before the campaign starts on August 17th at home to Bamber Bridge.   
“Clubs like ourselves, our deals have to come a bit later because we haven’t got the money to entice people,” he said.
“We’re picking out the lads to play week-in-week-out and the money issue isn’t necessarily the most important thing for them.
“Farsley have been great and nudged one or two lads our way and that really helps.
“We have to fight hard for our players, but with your Guiseleys, Frickleys, Farsleys and other clubs in our area, we have to look at the experience they are moving on to fit in their new players.
“We have to look at what we need and what’s available and whether it is within our budget.” 
Craig Tonkinson (left), battling for the ball, has signed from Farsley
Tracey has played for Bradford (Park Avenue), Ossett Town, Frickley Athletic, Belper Town and Stocksbridge Park Steels and Albion during an 11-year Non-League Football career.
He has played in the Football League for Rotherham, Carlisle United and Macclesfield Town and he well aware that he needs experience in his side to be successful this year.
“I think it is essential for the young lads to have that experience around them like Stevie Nicholson and Rob Tonks who have played at this level for 15-20 years,” he said.
“They know how it is done and even for lads coming down from higher leagues, this is a different level and you have to adjust and amend your style – I had to do that at Bradford Park Avenue for two years. This happens when you come down from a higher level.
“We have to shape it and have some energetic players who have desire to do well with the experience around them.”
Ossett continue their pre-season friendlies schedule on Saturday at home to Matlock Town.

Annual Nightingale charity football match at Rawdon Old Boys is a success again

Oliver, dad Bob, Lewis and James Nightingale
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Lewis Nightingale gained the bragging rights over his brothers James and Oliver in the annual charity football match at Rawdon Old Boys.
Early estimates say that the game in aid of Cancer Research UK and in the memory of their grandfather Malcolm Green, raised £1,500.
Lewis’ team won the game 3-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw over 90 minutes.
Horsforth’s Premier League referee Jon Moss was in charge of the match which saw Oliver put his team 1-0 up after 20 minutes.
Premier League referee Jon Moss
His side contained Huddersfield Town youngster Jordan Sinnott and Dean Windass’ son Josh.
Lewis, who plays for Evo Stik Division One North side Mossley, had FC United of Manchester striker Tom Greaves up-front with Brighouse Town man Ben Thornton playing alongside him.
Greaves scored the equaliser with a powerful low strike before Oliver scored again to put his side in front at half-time with a header from a Windass free kick.
Lewis gets the better of brother James
It looked like Oliver and James would earn the bragging rights until Thornton struck late-on to send the game to penalties – which Lewis’ team won.
Lewis said: “There was lots of interest and a lot of people helped out getting the pitch and ground ready. We had a lot of interest from family and friends and the ground was full of people from the area.”
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