How Ossett United's new management team are reshaping their team on and off the pitch
Ossett United’s squad has been reshaped further in the last week as new management team Jas Colliver and Mark Ward look to gather the side they want in their bid to reach the play-offs in the Pitching In Northern Premier League East.
Two new additions to the first team squad have been confirmed while a number of players have left the club in the wake of Wayne Benn’s departure as manager.
A major signing is Brad Beatson, a left footed central defender or left-back, who has arrived from league rivals Frickley Athletic and will add quality and strength in depth to a position that has been a problem at Ingfield for a while.
The former Sheffield Wednesday trainee has also spent time at Gainsborough Trinity and Boston United.
“Brad was a target of mine and other step three clubs in the summer, but due to the travelling he didn’t want to commit to me,” said United’s joint manager Colliver.
“As soon as we accepted the job I thought of Brad straight away. Brad is a good age with experience of this level and above.
“Brad will add leadership to our young team, but first and foremost he’s coming in to defend and hopefully help keep more clean sheets.”
Josh Maciver, a product of Ossett Town Juniors and in recent seasons a member of Neil Patchett’s successful Ossett United U18s squad, has also stepped up to first team level after impressing the management in training.
Ward explained: “JJ has trained only twice with us, but he looks composed on the ball and confident in both sessions, he is a good size also.
“We are always looking to provide a pathway for younger lads. So far five U18s have been invited to train with us.”
Players to leave Ingfield include goalkeeper Max Dearnley, who has been recalled by Huddersfield Town, and Archie Whitfield and Reon Potts, whose loans from York City ended on January 4.
Colliver explained: “I felt it was important to tidy up a few loose ends with the squad. Reon has gone back to York City with an eye on a further loan move, Huddersfield recalled Max and the toughest decision to make has been not to extend Archie’s loan.
“I have had a look at a few options and decided it wasn’t in the best interest of the club or player to extend his loan. We have Hogg back available, who has trained really well, and Valentine is back – two players who will be in the squad once available again. We thank Archie as he has been superb in what I’ve seen of him and wish him well, who knows what’s around the corner, he could be back!”
Marcel Chipamaunga has signed dual registration forms with United Counties League side Pinchbeck United while Cameron Clark has returned to his former club, Hemsworth MW, along with Nash Connolly, and Tabish Hussain has also left the club.
There have been a couple of off the field changes with Colliver being joined on the coaching staff by Gary Middleton, who he knows well.
Middleton will be a first team coach under Colliver and Ward. As a defender, he played alongside Colliver at Stocksbridge Park Steels and assisted him at Sheffield FC and Handsworth.
Colliver said: “I have brought in Gary Middleton as a coach, Midi has bags of experience in non-league playing over 1,000 games.
“He’s in the all-time best Ilkeston Town squad where he become a legend down there as well as being a fans favourite at Stocksbridge PS, Belper Town and Gainsborough.
“Midi was also my assistant manager at Sheffield FC and Handsworth. He is someone we can trust and rely on as well as building those positive relationships with the players. For me this is another top addition for the club.”
Programme editor Jack Sloan, meanwhile, is taking on the role of video analyst, which the new managers believe will be a key role behind the scenes.
On the pitch Ossett had to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw at home to Dunston.
They had the better of the chances in the first half with Ify Ofoegbu denied by the keeper after being played in by James Walshaw and Walshaw himself having the ball in the net only to be denied by a linesman’s flag.
But they went in goalless at the break and went behind within two minutes of the restart, Michael Pearson netting.
United looked to hit back with Ofoegbu sending a strike from 20 yards over and they were level in the 58th minute thanks to a stroke of luck as the Dunston goalkeeper’s attempted clearance hit Aaron Haswell and rebounded into the net.
Charlie Wood shot wide after going through as the hosts went for a winner while Ofoegbu’s pace took him clear of the defence, but good goalkeeping saw the forward denied.
Dec McGivern had a header saved and Dunston held on to take a point back home.
Ossett next go to the east coast to take on Cleethorpes Town this Saturday.