By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick will have to find a new talisman after James Walshaw decided to join Blue Square Bet North title rivals Altrincham.
But, admittedly Walshaw’s powers as the Lions’ key man were diminished last season as he wasn't as effective as previous years.
Tensions between Walshaw and Kittrick also did seem frayed ever since the striker’s red card against Brackley Town a couple of months ago.
His departure ends their long relationship, which began when Walshaw broke through the youth ranks at Ossett Town, for a second time.
But, he still leaves Guiseley as a hero. It was his and Adam Muller’s goals that won the NPL Premier Division title in 2010 – Wally was also the man who got both goals in the victory that clinched the success.
And efforts in the Conference North increased his popularity so he is arguably Guiseley’s best player of the last ten to fifteen years.
For Altrincham though, Walshaw is an ideal replacement for teenage striker Duncan Watmore who has joined Premier League Sunderland.
Lee Sinnott’s side finished the 2012-13 season strongly before losing to Brackley in the play-offs and with signings like Walshaw, Altrincham will do well again in 2014.
Guiseley now have to move on. Kittrick now has to re-shape his squad. Walshaw has followed Matt Wilson and fellow striker Kevin Holsgrove out of the Nethermoor exit door.
Kittrick has to find a new forward with the kind of gravitas that Walshaw held in the Division.
Who he will plump for is anyone’s guess. There is no-one in the West Yorkshire area who fits the bill so he’s going to have to look further afield.