by Shaun Moloney
GUISELEY AFC staff is working diligently to retain the squad that came so close to achieving promotion last season – despite losing a significant amount of firepower.
20-goal Josh Wilson has left the club in favour of FC Halifax Town – the side that ended Guiseley’s promotion hopes in May.
The Lions also parted ways with striker James Walshaw, who made the decision to join Altrincham when he claimed the club failed to contact him about a new deal.
Guiseley AFC General Manager Adrian Towers said: “Both strikers leave with our blessing. Josh made it perfectly clear he was only going to ever sign a one year contract, as he believes he has the potential to be a full-time footballer, and we agreed with him.
“We told him that we wouldn’t stand in his way if he wanted to make the move. It wasn’t about money and I believe that had we gone up he would have stayed with us.”
The Lions have managed to retain 17 of the squad that finished with 91 points in the Blue Square Bet North.
The club were extremely pleased to retain the services of last season’s player of the year Danny Ellis, who signed a two-year deal.
Mr Towers said: “Danny is a stalwart player for us and an extremely accomplished centre-half. At such a young age he has played an incredible amount of games for us
“He is looking to become more heavily involved in the coaching of the club’s Academy side and will will be persuing coaching qualifications from UEFA in the next couple of years.”
Moves have been made to bring in fresh faces, which include striker Craig Hobson from Stockport County, Michael Burns from Vauxhall Motors and Jameel Ible from York City.
Mr Towers said: “Hobson is an extremely prolific striker who we have been watching since his time at Stalybridge Celtic. At 6ft 4in he puts himself about and we believe he will score a hell of a lot of goals at this level.
“Burns is a player who had a spell with us previously and we are pleased to welcome back from Vauxhall Motors and Ible is an extremely promising young full-back and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”