Barrow Midfielder Joins The Lions

Liam Hughes Joins Guiseley

Guiseley AFC have this morning confirmed the signing of midfielder Liam Hughes on a full time contract from Barrow AFC.  Hughes was progressed through the youth system at Cambridge United to make his first team debut for the club in October 2010.

Liam-Hughes

After a short spell on loan with Corby Town in 2012, were he scored three goals in three games, he went back to Cambridge United and made 177 appearances before his contract was cancelled in January 2016.  He then joined Scottish Premiership side Inverness Caledonian Thistle and made 11 appearances during the rest of the 2015-16 season.

On release by the Highland club in June 2016 he joined Barrow AFC before joining up with his former manager Paul Cox at Guiseley AFC this morning.

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Steeton AFC legend Passes Away

David Baxter (1934 – 2017)

As a freelance sports photographer, I have visited a number of sporting events across the country that to be honest turnout to be just another event or another football match that you have visited as part of your role as a sports photograph.  That changed for me at the start of this football season, when I had my first visit to Steeton AFC, the club has a real community feel that is both welcoming and friendly as they look to build the club.

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This week, I heard the very sad news that the club president David Baxter had passed away after a short illness aged eighty-nine. David had been part of Steeton Football Club since 1948, first as a player before taking on off-field roles as club treasurer & president.

David was the driving force behind the club’s fund-raising for many years, selling raffle tickets and running the Craven pools and having spent almost seventy years with one club, he can defiantly be classed as a true Steeton AFC Legend.

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David first joined Steeton AFC as a thirteen year old playing left-back for the minors before being spotted by Jack Fortune and selected for the first team, he eventually went on to become the club captain in the 1950’s.  After hanging up his boots he joined the club’s committee and even spent time as joint manager of the club.

As a member of the committee in 1969 he was an integral part of moving the club from its old home where Airedale Hospital is now to the current ground at Summerhill Lane which meant the club had its own pavilion and pitch.  David was honoured with a prestigious Football Association 50 years’ long service award in 2007 and only last month, Steeton recognised David’s achievements with the unveiling of a plaque at the ground.

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After a tough week, it will become even more difficult on Saturday as the club say’s goodbye to someone who has simply given his whole life to serving, promoting and supporting Steeton AFC.  As a further mark of respect the club has this week produced a programme that features Davis Baxter for the home game against Thornton United.

steeton Programme

Myself, I was due to cover Burnley v Swansea City in the Premier League but after hearing the sad news this week, I will now be attending Steeton’s home fixture standing alongside Roy Mason squad to pay my respects to a true club legend in Mr David Baxter.

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Leyton Orient Sack Former Claret

Leyton Orient Manager Steve Davis Dismissed

Leyton Orient have this morning confirmed they have parted company with manager Steve Davis just four months after he was appointed at the Matchroom Stadium. Having only won five of his eighteen games in charge in the Vanarama National League, last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Ebbsfleet United was his last in charge.

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Leyton Orient are currently in nineteenth place in the league just three points above the relegation places, the club has removed former Crewe boss Davis and put Ross Embleton and Dean Brill in charge on an interim basis.

Davis became head coach on a two-year deal in July following a successful takeover of Orient led by Travis, when he replaced the previous owner Francesco Becchetti, with the club relegated from the Football League after a 112-year stay and it had been hoped he could ultimately lead the east London team back into League Two.

Nigel Travis

Speaking about his decision the Leyton Orient Chairman Nigel Travis said: “There is no doubt results haven’t been up to the required levels over the last two months.  The team showed a lot of promise in the early part of the season and unfortunately that hasn’t been sustained.

We felt it was time to make a change in order to give us the best chance of turning our fortunes around for the second half of the season. Steve came into the club at a difficult time with a shortened pre-season and a staff rebuilding process underway.  He worked tirelessly and professionally and we know from the players how much they enjoyed his training ground work.

However, ultimately football is a results-based business and whilst we knew this was going to be a challenging season, we did not expect to be so close to the bottom four at this stage. We thank Steve for his efforts and wish him well for the future, our attention now turns towards ensuring that we find the right person to come in and improve our fortunes on the pitch.”

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Premiership Clubs Chasing Kirkpatrick

Oliver Kirkpatrick Wanted By Premier League Clubs

Bradford City teenager Oliver Kirkpatrick is currently being chased by a trio of Premier League clubs including Everton, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion.  Kirkpatrick has come through Bradford’s academy and was named on the bench for the first-team in the EFL Trophy the clash with Rotherham United last week.

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The seventeen year old has been earning rave reviews for Bradford’s youth sides and he is highly-regarded at the League One club.  The ball-playing central defender’s potential has not gone unnoticed among clubs higher up the football pyramid with scouts from Premier League clubs making regular checks on Kirkpatrick.

Everton’s recent transfer policy has been to sign the best homegrown talent around to try and develop them into first-team regulars, while Leicester and West Brom are all also keen to their youth set-ups. Bradford are keen to keep hold of Kirkpatrick but are bracing themselves for interest in the defender if he continues his rapid rate of progress.

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Accrington Stanley Preview (Cup Replay)

Accrington Manager Previews Tomorrow’s FA Cup Replay

John Coleman knows Accrington Stanley will have to be at their best if they are to beat Vanarama National League side Guiseley tomorrow in the FA Cup First Round replay. The two sides drew 0-0 at Nethermoor Park with the winners tomorrow facing a trip to Mansfield Town in the second round.

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Speaking about the match John Coleman said, “We will be favourites and some people may think it’s a foregone conclusion and that they had their chance at home, but I know it doesn’t happen like that. We have to be better than what we were at Guiseley AFC, but there is no guarantee we will be and we have to strive to be better and play our game.

We have to stamp our playing style onto the game and we have to be more positive and play in their half. Guiseley didn’t surprise us at their place, they were big and strong they worked hard and it was a difficult game.  Their game plan was more effective that ours on the day, they made more chances that us but the more clear-cut chances fell to us.

They asked a lot of questions and they put a lot of balls into the box, there were a lot of long throws but we dealt with them. Guiseley manager Cox used to manage Mansfield which will give them an extra incentive tomorrow night. I didn’t watch the draw as our next game in the FA Cup is Guiseley at home.

People may think Guiseley have a bigger carrot as their manager used to be at Mansfield Town, but my drive is to win any game we play.”

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Former Clarets Midfielder Playing in Italy

Former Claret Renny Smith Now Playing In Italy

Renny Smith was part of both the Chelsea and Arsenal academies before moving on to Burnley, but it is in Italy where the Englishman has found a home as a footballer.

Smith was viewed as an exciting prospect while at Chelsea and rejected approaches from Manchester City and Liverpool to join Arsenal at sixteen in 2013, but even at a club that looks to give opportunities to young players, the midfielder tells a familiar story of failing to break into first team.

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Smith was viewed as an exciting prospect while at Chelsea and rejected approaches from Manchester City and Liverpool to join Arsenal at sixteen in 2013, but even at a club that looks to give opportunities to young players, the midfielder tells a familiar story of failing to break through.

He went on to join Burnley on a three-year contract in 2015, but like several others we have spoken to in our Brits Abroad series, Smith found it difficult to adapt to life in the Football League having been at two elite clubs.

Smith was just eighteen when he signed for Burnley, but he struggled to adapt to what Sean Dyche wanted from his midfielders.  He never played for the Clarets’ first team during what proved to be their promotion season.  He first joined Serie B side Vicenza, before joining Mantova on loan and then moving to Serie C side Sudtirol in the summer. He hopes to progress up the pyramid and one day return to his native England.

Speaking about his struggle to get first team action Renny Smith said, “With the Chelsea academy, for me, you get the feeling they buy in their talent, it’s not a case of making and creating talents and that’s how I felt when I was there.  If they want to get a good player they would spend money on a youth team player, they would relocate the parents, give them a house, give them a car for them to come and be with the Chelsea academy. It was quite incredible really.

It’s tough enough getting through at Chelsea with all the money they have in the first team; if they need a player they’ll go spend £40million, no problem.  Arsenal wasn’t as bad, they don’t spend as much money on young players as Chelsea did and it’s more of a case of developing the talent they’ve got.  Two players I admired a lot whilst training in the first team was Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla.

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It was a lot of long balls, second balls, and as a midfielder you’re watching the ball going over your head a lot which was quite frustrating.  I didn’t settle into that environment and that’s why I left early because we were training long balls and to hit balls into certain areas to win headers.

I learned a lot, but at the same time it wasn’t a game I enjoyed I managed to make the most of my time there and to learn about how Sean Dyche wants to play.  I took things from it but that as a style of football was not for me.  It’s working for him at the moment and he’s doing really well in the Premier League, all the players are buying into it and the club is doing well, but they’re just not playing the football I enjoy. For me football is about winning but about enjoying it and entertaining at the same time.”

I wanted a change, I wanted to start my career and play first-team football, I knew some players in Sweden and they said it was a good opportunity.  They have big crowds, it’s technically very good and it was a great, positive experience for me, my first experience of first-team football.  A lot of players now are trying, as they look at the Football League and see that style is not suited to the young Premier League players. They go there and they’re alienated by the style of football the manager wants them to play.

If you’re prepared to make the sacrifices, put in the dedication and make football your lifestyle, not just moving to a club as you live locally, then you’ll do well. Hopefully we’ll see some English players, including me, that will be doing well abroad. Italy is known for its tactical knowledge and I thought I could learn a lot, I think being quite technically based compared to the lower leagues in England, it might suit my style of play.

It was a difficult choice for me to move to Italy but I’m making the most of it and working really hard.  I’ve learnt the language an I’am doing interviews in Italian. I’m managing to speak to people really well and make conversation, which was really tough at the start.  I want to come back to England that’s the ultimate goal, I want to be playing in the Premier League, if not the Championship. To do that I will need to be in Serie B or A, as a lot of international scouts watch those leagues, not such much Serie C.”

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Guiseley AFC v Bromley

Guiseley AFC 0 v 1 Bromley (Vanarama National League)

After the excitement of last week’s FA Cup draw against Accrington Stanley, the Lions got back to the bread and butter of the Vanarama National League this week with a home game against Bromley.  Manager Paul Cox made two changes from last weekends team bringing in Harvey and Liburd for Lenighan and Fondop who dropped to the bench.

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The biggest talking point of the game came after only two minutes, when a long ball over the top of the Guiseley defence left Louis Dennis clear on goal with only Jonny Maxted to beat, however Ash Palmer got back to challenge and brought Dennis down for a penalty and also collected a straight red card.

Louis Dennis picked himself up off the floor and stepped up to take the penalty which he struck low to Jonny Maxted’s right-hand corner, at full stretch Maxted got down to save and hold the penalty kick.

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The visitors continued to press and Tashan Soyinka then found Maxted equal to his shot while at the other end Rowan Liburd flashed a powerful shot just wide of the upright.

Guiseley looked to have a legitimate penalty claim of their own turned down when Jake Lawlor appeared to be pushed over in the Bromley area from a corner, but the referee Paul Marsden disagreed and said play on.

Both sides went close to breaking the deadlock just before the break as first Adeyinka tried his luck for the visitors with a vicious dipping shot that Maxted pushed away. Then Rowan Liburd received the ball with his back to goal, before turning his defender and hitting a looping effort that caught Gregory off-guard making the half-time score 0-0.

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Guiseley started the second half the stronger as Darren Holden created an opening for himself but chose to cross rather than shoot and the chance was lost.  Tyrone Sterling replied for the visitors but put his shot over the bar.

Mike Fondop then replaced Kayode Odejayi as the Lions went for broke but it was the visitors who went close when the lively Adeyinka curled one over the angle and Dennis was denied by a point blank save from Jonny Maxted.

On seventy-five, the home side were creating some great pressure on the Bromley goal after being awarded a corner Mike Fondop rose above the melee to get his head to the ball, but unfortunately he couldn’t direct it goal ward and his effort went wide.

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Then on the eighty-second minute, Frankie Raymond was brought down in the area and the visitors were awarded their second penalty of the afternoon but the irrepressible Jonny Maxted ensured his goal remained intact as he denied Josh Rees from the spot.

The visitors finally broke the deadlock in the ninety-four minute, when Dominic Vose beat Connor brown on the wing before cutting into the area and sending a low cross into the six yard box, were the ball was met by Iffy Allen who stroked the ball passed a helpless Jonny Maxted to give the visitors the lead and all three points.

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Speaking after the match manager Paul Cox said “It is a result that is hard to take to be so near to a point and play with ten men for so long, we showed such a great desire it is such a shame we couldn’t get something from it.”

Match Details

Guiseley – Maxted, Brown, Palmer, Lawlor, Holden, Hurst, Molyneux, Odejayi, M,Boungou, Liburd, Harvey (Subs) Rooney, Lenighan, Fondop, Haworth, Koue

Bromley – Gregory, Dunne, Holland, Johnson, Sterling, Wanadio, Rees, Mekki, Raymond, Dennis, Adeyinka (Subs) Vose, Higgs, Campbell, Wynter, Allen

Goals(Bromley) Allen (94)

Attendance – 1,074

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