Evo-Stik NPL News
Latest From Around The First Division North
Evo-Stik NPL First Division North champions AFC Fylde have moved to swoop for their second transfer target, clinching the signing of striker James Dean - a record scorer for Blue Square Bet North side FC Halifax Town.
Dean, a powerhouse striker standing at 6`3”, has been a prolific forward for Halifax since he joined them from Harrogate Town in 2010 and he is their record scorer with eighty-three goals in 130 appearances.
The forward was out of contract at the Shay and he finished the season just missing out on promotion to the Conference Premier after they lost the play off semi-final against Gainsborough Trinity.
The 27-year-old started his career at Bury and that’s where the connection comes with Fylde`s Dave Challinor and Colin Woodthorpe both players at Bury. He also had loan spells at Altrincham, Northwich Victoria and Stalybridge Celtic whilst at Gigg Lane.
Fylde boss Challinor is delighted bring in Dean to bolster his attacking options for an assault on the NPL Premier Division: “Deano is someone Colin and myself know not only from our days when he was at Bury with us as a pro but also from playing against him for Halifax."
After season that proved to be tough financially both on and off the field for Evo-Stik NPL First Division North club Bamber Bridge, major credit is due to Neil Crowe, his coaching staff and the players and also the individuals who donated money to keep Brig afloat.
Bamber Bridge eventually managed a respectable sixty points, finishing tenth.
The club are sad that we have to announce that Dave Rowland has left Irongate after many years of devoted service.
A spokesman for the club said: “We would like to take the opportunity on behalf of everyone associated with Bamber Bridge Football Club to thank Dave for all of his effort, contribution and commitment over the years. We wish him and his family well for the future and he will always be welcome down at Irongate at any time. Looking on to the 2012/2013 season.”
The club have announced that Neil Crowe and his player/assistant-manager Neil Reynolds will be again in charge of the first-team for next season.
At this moment in time all of last year’s players have agreed to remain at the club.
A decision has been made, purely on financial reasons, to not have a reserve team this season.
Reserve team manager Mike Faulkner will remain at the club and become part of the coaching staff for the first-team.
One piece of disappointing news is that unfortunately there will be no traditional pre-season friendly against Preston North End.
This is a situation which Brig hope can be reversed in the future as many of the Preston and South Ribble residents look forward to this historical fixture. In place of what should have been the PNE fixture, a team of Preston North End FC `legends` will play Bamber Bridge.
Paul Moore, the new manager of Evo-Stik NPL First Division North club Clitheroe, has announced his backroom staff.
Moore, appointed last week, said: “I am pleased to announce that we have appointed a new assistant-manager and first-team coach to assist me within the management of the football.
“Andrew Lee will join us as the assistant-manager. Andy holds his pro licence, as well as other qualifications within the game. Andy has been a qualified coaches` educator with both Cheshire FA and Lancashire FA, he assisted myself at Congleton Town in the North West Counties Premier Division, then moved onto manage at GAP Connah`s Quay in the Welsh Premier League. Dave Hughes joins us as the first-team coach. Dave holds his UEFA B licence and has had many years experience at North West Counties League level. He played for Warrington Town and Leigh RMI, before embarking on a career as a manager. Dave has held the managerial positions at Daten FC, Ashton Town, Atherton LR and more recently assistant-manager at Runcorn Linnets."
New Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott refused to let his heart rule his head as he waved farewell to Glasshoughton Welfare and embarked on “unfinished business” in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.
Elliott was confirmed as a permanent successor to Phil Sharpe – who left Town earlier this year – over the weekend after applications for the void left by caretaker-manager Eric Gilchrist closed on Thursday evening.
It means leaving Welfare – the club he served as a player more than a decade ago – after just two seasons in charge and just a month after leading them to promotion to the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
But Elliott said he couldn’t refuse the chance to make his managerial bow in the Evo-Stik League First Division where he tasted title success as a player with Harrogate Town in 2001-02 when Ossett, ironically, were runners-up.
Elliott said: “It was a tough decision but I only had limited resources at Glasshoughton and I feel I took them as far as I could. They are a great club and because I played there they have a big place in my heart, but I am ambitious as a manager and I look at this as another step up. Ossett are in a league above, they are a good club as well, and I couldn’t turn it down really, it’s a great opportunity for me. Ossett haven’t done too well for the last two years and as a young manager I have nothing to lose and everything to gain if I can make them better which I believe I can.”
Elliott has built up a reputation as one of the most promising young managers in non-league football after injury wrecked his playing career at just 27.
He joined Glasshoughton after being released by Doncaster Rovers as a teenager but was soon picked up by a Harrogate Town side who were bound for Conference North. After injury intervened, spells at the likes of North Ferriby failed to get him up and running again so he switched his attention to obtaining his coaching badges.
He joined NCE League outfit Pontefract Collieries as reserve team boss and then after one successful season as manager of West Yorkshire League outfit Kellingley Welfare, which saw the club scoop four trophies, he was appointed Glasshoughton manager in July 2010.
In his first season Welfare, who had finished 13th in Division One the previous campaign and bottom 12 months earlier following relegation from the Premier Division, clinched seventh spot.
They then finished runners-up to Handsworth last time round to clinch promotion after a stunning end to the season, scoring more than 100 goals in the league along the way.
He will now be looking to have a similar effect at Ossett Town, who finished 17th in First Division North last time round after being relegated from the top-flight in 2010-11.
“I obviously had two really good seasons at Glasshoughton and the positive is I can leave on good terms and leave them in a far better position than when I took over,” said Elliott, who will be taking assistant Carl Fothergill – a former Ossett player – to Ingfield with him. It couldn’t have been left in a better position and it’s an attractive job for anyone coming in. But I am not a person who stands still, I want to progress my own career and I think I can do that at Ossett. I played at that level with Harrogate Town and I want to get back to that level as a manager. I retired early as well due to injury and I feel I have unfinished business. I am under no illusions, they have been on a downward spiral for the last two seasons, but I feel the challenge for me is to get them back successful.
Former Ashton United first-team coach Dave Powell has left the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division club to take up the managerial vacancy at First Division North outfit Prescot Cables.
Powell joined Ashton two years ago to join Danny Johnson's backroom staff as first-team coach, and last season took on the role of head of player development, working closely with the Ashton United Development Squad.
He revealed that it was a tough decision to leave but having had previous managerial experience at Ashton Athletic he felt that this was a good opportunity for him to get back into management at a good standard of the game.
Powell will be assisted by former Skelmersdale United, Newcastle Town and Stafford Rangers midfielder Mike Douglas to make his first step onto the managerial and coaching step ladder.
Powell said: “I am absolutely delighted that Mike has agreed to join us and he will provide valuable experience both on and off the field.”
Powell has also brought in Steve O’Hara, with whom he worked at Ashton Athletic. O’Hara also has experience of the Northern Premier League as a coach at Marine but more recently has been working in the Welsh leagues.
The club are currently putting the final touches to the pre-season schedule which should be announced towards the end of the week.
The player who scored the last goal of Witton Albion’s promotion-winning season – Alex Titchiner – has joined Blue Square Bet Premier champions Fleetwood Town.
Albion’s leading marksman, with thirty-nine goals from fifty-four starts in league and cup, was unveiled as the Football League new boys first new recruit of the summer
As a free agent, the Lancashire outfit has not paid a fee. However Witton are entitled to compensation.
Titchiner, 20, was picked by supporters as the NPL First Division North’s best player last term, his goals helping Albion to third in the table.
He was on target too in both of their play-offs matches against Farsley and then Curzon Ashton.
His departure brings to an end a second spell at the Help for Heroes Stadium – he scored six times in eight games during a loan stay last term– in which the former Crewe Alexandra junior’s goals tally was forty-five from sixty-two starts.
Titchiner has been joined at Highbury by Wales under-21 goalkeeper Chris Maxwell, who has left Wrexham to play for Micky Mellon’s team.