Ellis wants Guiseley to win instant return to National North

National North 

Chairman Gary Douglas introduces new Guiseley manager Danny Ellis and his assistant Danny Forrest

Danny Ellis wants Guiseley to bounce back from the heartbreak of relegation and be successful in the NPL Premier Division next season.

The new Lions player/manager was handed the keys to the throne at Nethermoor shortly after Steve Kittrick was unable to pull off the great escape.

The club legend and his assistant Danny Forrest are picking up the pieces and effectively starting from ground zero.

However, despite the rebuilding nature of their initial task, the pair are ambitious.

“We’re building a team pretty much from scratch,” Ellis told Non League Yorkshire.

“There are players in the team who want to stay in the National North which is fine.

“At the same time it allows me to my own stamp on it and I’d say get players who are more local.

“Some of the players from last season were travelling from miles away.

“I want it to be more of a closer knit group so I’m being quite patient with the signings as I want the right characters.

“It has been so manic trying to speak to agents, but me and Foz have sat down and said we’re stripping it back and getting younger lads in as well.

“We’ll be having a real good go.

“We want to win the league and challenge, but we have to be realistic.

“(As a minimum) we want to finish top five.

“I have played in this league a number of seasons and I have always finished in the play-offs or won it so that’s my plan and what all the players will be aiming for.

“I’m driven to do well and succeed and I’ve been like that throughout my playing career and I intend to be the same in management.

“I want to get the club back into the National North as quickly as possible.”

Guiseley manager Danny Ellis

The challenge of winning the league is huge considering the wealth of South Shields who throwing everything including the kitchen sink.

Ellis agrees Shields are the team to beat.

“All the pressure is on South Shields, let’s be honest,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say you’re going there as a free hit, but you’re up against the finances, the ground, full-time status, wages.

“I’m not going to say they are going to run away with the league, I’d never say that.

“They are the favourites because of everything they have in place but it doesn’t say they are going to win the league.

“There’s some good teams (in the league) who have been together for a long time.

“Warrington are always up there and a good side.

“Matlock have a good side and at one point they were flying. 

“They’re so many good sides.

“Whitby will do well.

“The players they are getting in will make them a good outfit.”

Jameel Ible has signed for Guiseley
New Guiseley signing George Smith with Danny Ellis

Guiseley’s full retained list is yet to be confirmed.

Adam Haw has officially signed a new deal, but publicly that is it.

Jake Cassidy, Jameel Ible and former Barnsley defender George Smith are the three new signings – plus Ellis, who played for Darlington last season and intends to play, if you include him as a player.

Aside from the 400 appearances he made during nine years as a player for Guiseley, Ellis has worked for the club for many years in their academy set-up with the highly-regarded Dave Currie.

Numerous players have come through carved out Non League careers for themselves – Thackley goalkeeper Luke Wilson to name one.

Some have made the Guiseley first team.

Lewis Hey, the son of former Lions star Nicky, has grabbed headlines in the past 18 months and Ellis has high hopes for him and two others.

“We’ve brought some great players through and we have been quite lucky,” he said.

“Dave Currie does an unbelievable job as manager.

“Dropping down a league gives the younger lads more of an opportunity.

“It is a big jump from academy football to senior football in the NPL, but it is not as huge as academy football to National North.

“The National North is going to be a full-time league soon.

“The plan (is to make a few first team regulars).

“Lewis Hey had a taste of the first team last season and he’s staying this season.

“We have big plans for Lewis.

“Ollie Brown is another one and there’s Foley Nkem in midfield.

“I think it is time to shine basically.

“There is an opportunity there for them and they understand I’ll give them an opportunity, but they have to work hard to get in the team.”

If promotion is not secured, it is far from a disaster.

Ellis has signed a two-year deal and one significant development at Nethermoor next season will only strengthen the Lions.

“There is a plan in place,” he said.

“The 3G pitch will be down (for the 2023/24 season) and will be a game-changer.

“We want to get up this season, but if it doesn’t work, next season we’ll be stronger, without a doubt.”

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