Elliott aims to take winning mentality to Ossett Town

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NEW Ossett Town manager Craig Elliott is confident he can use his success at Glass Houghton Welfare to help change the fortunes of the Stade France club.

Elliott is one of the most promising young managers in the non-league game and helped Welfare to promotion to the Northern Counties East League (NCEL) Premier Division last season.

He was unveiled as Town’s new manager on Sunday to succeed Phil Sharpe, who left the club midway through last season and handed control over to interim boss Eric Gilchrist.

Elliott says he left Welfare with a heavy heart and admits he has a tough job on his hands at Town.

But he’s confident his winning mentality can rub-off on a club desperate for some glory.

“It wasn’t easy to leave Glass Houghton, I wasn’t actively looking for a new club,” said Elliott.

“But I just felt the time was right to step up to a higher level and Ossett provided that opportunity.

“The club hasn’t done that well for the last two years and but I think I can improve them on the pitch.

“The league table doesn’t lie and last year wasn’t a good one for the club.

“I’ve only been in management for four years but I’ve enjoyed plenty of success. Hopefully I can continue that at Ossett.”

Elliott completely changed the fortunes of Welfare on a limited budget in the two successful years he was at the Leeds Road club.

His first year in charge brought a commendable seventh-placed finish and also some silverware in the Wilkinson Sword Trophy.

It got better last season as he guided the club to promotion, finishing second behind Handsworth.

He cut his managerial teeth at West Yorkshire League side Kellingley Welfare, leading them to league glory and winning two cups before joining Welfare.

A chance to continue moving up the football pyramid proved too good to turn down with Town and his decision was aided by the ambition on vice chairman James Rogers.

“I wanted the club to sell the job to me and James certainly did that,” he said.

“He’s a young and ambitious guy like me and I got all the right vibes from the meeting I had with him.”

Elliott will bring former Town striker Carl Fothergill with him as his assistant.

And he says he could also return to Welfare to bring some of his former players with him to Stade France.

“There are two or three guys there I’d be interested in bringing over here,” he said.

“But I’ve got a good scouting network and plenty of contacts that hopefully I can use to strengthen the squad. There have already been talks with a few players.”

Town have arranged two pre-season friendlies so far.

They’ll visit Barton Town Old Boys on Wednesday, July 18 and Pontefract Collieries on Tuesday, July 24 (both 7.45pm kick-offs).

See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest football news from around the district.