OSSETT Town boss Craig Elliott was set to put the final piece in his pre-season jigsaw last night (Thursday).
Former Guiseley, Worksop and Town player James Cotterill has been training with the Evo-Stik Premier League club this summer and the Barnsley-born defender was expected to put pen-to-paper on a deal at Stade France.
The Town boss says the centre-back was his “number one target” this summer and he’ll also be club captain.
“I’ve been delighted with the signings that have been made and hopefully we can finalise the biggest deal for James Cotterill tonight,” Elliott said on Thursday.
“I’ve wanted him to come all summer, he’s been my number one target and he’ll be the captain for us.
“He’s been at Worksop and Guiseley as well as playing here before and he’ll add great experience and quality to the team.”
The former Barrow player has featured in all of Town’s pre-season matches this summer, the latest being a 1-1 draw with Campion in midweek - a match Elliott described as the toughest his men have had this summer.
“We wanted to take a look at him and hoped to tie-up a deal before the start of the season,” Elliott continued.
“He also wanted to come and have a look at us to see if we suited him and I think he’s enjoyed it and likes what he’s seen.”
Cotterill’s arrival is one of a number of big changes at Stade France this season.
Only two players remain at the club from last season, striker Shane Kelsey, who’s carrying a knock going into the big kick-off, and Luke Richardson.
“I think that’s always the case when a new manager comes in,” said Elliott.
“Hopefully the pre-season has been good in helping the team gel together and get the lads to know each other.”
Town’s final pre-season test is against Guiseley at Stade France tomorrow, Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Cotterill won’t feature and Richardson is also unavailable for the clash.
But the game shouldn’t have too much of a bearing on Elliott’s selection for the club’s opening match of the season at Warrington Town on Saturday, August 18.
“I think I know pretty much what my starting eleven will be for that match,” he said.
“Injuries aside, I think the lads are all ready to get back to action and so am I.
“It’s been a good pre-season but we’re just waiting for the season to start now.”
See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest football news from around the district.