Prolific striker James Walshaw pleased to be back where it all began at Ossett
Non-league legend James Walshaw is on his way back to where it all began for him after signing for Ossett United.
The striker has had a great career banging in goals for a number of clubs and is seen as a major addition to Wayne Benn’s squad for the 2021-22 campaign.
Walshaw first made his name as a young player during Steve Kittrick’s time in charge of Ossett Town in the mid-2000s and he is delighted to be back at Ingfield as the club looks to rise the ranks.
He said: “I started locally playing Sunday League then I got drafted into the academy with Lindsay Dawson, scored goals and quickly got drafted into the reserves.
“I think I played three games in the reserves and the first team manager, Gary Brook, brought me straight into the first team – and I never looked back really.
“I was here quite a few years and I’ve got a bit of knowledge of the club, probably more than most of the current squad. I made a promise to the late Graham Firth that one day I would be back here and obviously I’m delighted to be back.
“I’d been weighing the idea up for a couple of years about when was the right time to come back. I’ve had plenty of offers from clubs higher up the pyramid and offers of more money from clubs in the same division, but living in Ossett, working in Ossett it’s a no-brainer.
“I’ve joined this club, not to be a nursing home and a retirement thing, I want to succeed here, I want to score goals, I want to be the top scorer in the league and I want us to get promoted.
“I’m more determined than ever to succeed at this club and get us to where we want it to be.”
Ossett boss Benn is equally pleased to have Walshaw on board.
He said: “It’s an unbelievable signing, a great coup. He’s played for clubs much higher up the pyramid and his goal record speaks for itself.
“To get this over the line speaks volumes for James in terms of the desire he’s shown in wanting to come and to the board and the guys behind the scenes in allowing us to get this signing done.
“He’s just going to bring quality and he’s going to bring goals – you know what you are going to get. It’s what we’ve been crying out for, a few more goals in the side.”
Walshaw’s career has seen him win promotion and a national award while with Guiseley and he scored plenty of goals in spells with Darlington, FC Halifax, Harrogate Town, Shaw Lane Aquaforce, Farsley Celtic and Scarborough Athletic.
He netted an incredible 50 goals for Farsley when helping them win promotion to the NPL Premier Division in the 2016-17 season and was most recently at Buxton.
Walshaw is the second signing for next season after manager Benn also recently moved to sign defender Ross Killock. The centre-back played for Yorkshire Amateur and AFC Mansfield last season and is another set to bring some valuable experience with him to Ossett.
The former Leeds United academy youngster has played for Stalybridge Celtic, FC Halifax, Scarborough Athletic and Chester FC.
On his signing, Benn said: “He is the type of player we are looking for – we are trying to attract quality over quantity this summer and Ross certainly fits that bill.
“He’ll bring a bit of leadership and experience and it’s an area we definitely needed to strengthen with particularly Eddie Cass having a long term injury.
“He’s a good age, he’s 26, coming up 27, and primarily has played his football at higher levels.”