Ossett Town: Elliott looking to build on ‘satisfying’ first season as Town boss

EXIT DOOR: Ossett Town will have to plug the gap left by departing striker Shane Kelsey
EXIT DOOR: Ossett Town will have to plug the gap left by departing striker Shane Kelsey

Ossett Town manager Craig Elliott is looking to build on the foundations from what he labelled a “satisfying” first season in charge at Ingfield.

Elliott arrived in WF5 from Glasshoughton Welfare last summer and guided Town to a creditable mid-table finish and prolonged runs in three cup competitions.

Town had been tipped as relegation candidates before the start of the season but never flirted with the wrong end of the table.

And good runs in the FA Cup, FA Trophy, where they met Stockport County in the First Round Proper, and West Riding County Cup, where they reached the semi-finals, ensured a good season at Ingfield.

“As a club, I feel we can be satisfied with what we have achieved this season,” said Elliott.

“We have been a comfortable mid-table team all season long and although never threatening the play-offs, we have improved our league position and points total from last season.

“My main task when getting the job last summer was to start to build firm foundations at the club and ensure we were not a soft touch flirting with relegation, as the club had done in previous seasons.

“Results all season have shown we are a difficult team to play against and our record against teams in the top 6 is encouraging with all having to play well to beat us.”

He added: “On a personal level, I have learnt a great deal this season and hopefully I can take that experience into next season.

“With continued hard work and a few key signings we can continue to move forwards and improve.”

Town’s away form was the best outside the Evo-Stik Division 1 North’s top six but Elliott knows his men have to improve in front of their own fans.

“This season, we have drawn too many games at home,” he admitted.

“Looking forward to next season, our home record has to be an area that we need to improve. However, a massive positive has been our away record which has been as good as a number of teams who have reached the play-offs.”

Elliott took a well-earned holiday at the end of the season but will soon start preparations for the 2013-14 campaign, which kicks-off on Saturday, August 10.

One job he will be faced with straight away is replacing 20-goal striker Shane Kelsey, pictured right, who has left the club.

The former Ossett Albion man will continue to play at a lower level but not commit to the rigours of the Evo-Stik Premier League.

Elliott is disappointed to see the forward depart but fully understands the reasons for his decision.

“I went through something similar as I approached the end of my own playing career and started a family,” said the Town boss.

“At this level you need commitment and drive to do well and Shane was honest enough to admit he could not give me that. I wish Shane well playing locally next season and now is the time for Ossett Town to move on, starting with the big job of replacing Kelsey up front.”

Town are currently in talks with Barnsley about sending a side to Ossett for a friendly.