Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
New Eccleshill United player/manager Ryan Toulson wants his club to challenge again at the top end of the league.
Toulson is in command of Eccleshill following a whirlwind week which began when Lee Elam stunned many by resigning – just weeks after almost guiding them to the NPL for the first time in the club’s history.
The former FC Halifax Town and Guiseley star quit his role as player/coach at Bradford (Park Avenue) to move to Wrose and he is eyeing success.
“It is going to be really tough and we have to look forward,” Toulson told Non League Yorkshire.
“The club did well (last season) and the club is ambitious and I’m ambitious.
“That’s why I have taken over.
“I want to do well and I want to push myself and the squad I have taken over as far as we can go.
“It is going to be difficult.
“You have Yorkshire Amateur, North Ferriby, Frickley as well as Golcar and Hallam along with the rest of the sides who are putting together good squads.
“As I’ve found out in the past couple of days it is a dog eat dog world out there in recruitment and it is tough.
“I’m used to players being on contract (at Bradford) whereas (at this level) all the lads are free agents and free to speak to whoever they want.
“I have just been honest with the players when I have spoken to them and told them I want them on board and told them how I want to work.
“The ultimate ambition is to be at the top of that table.
“I don’t see myself standing still.
“I want to progress myself and I have been ambitious all my career and that’s not going to change going into management.”
Toulson, who hopes to appoint an assistant and goalkeeping coach soon, expects inherit most of Elam’s side.
Star attacker Jonny Irving has departed though.
“Over the past few days I’ve spoken to all the players,” he said.
“There are players within the squad who are talking to other clubs.
“I’ve asked them to be honest with me and they have.
“They’ll be probably a couple who move on which makes way for me to sign who I think will help us and strengthen us.
“The majority of the lads are willing to come in for pre-season and give myself a chance.
“It gives them a chance to look at how I work and me a chance to look at them.”
Even Toulson was surprised by the departure of Elam.
“I had never envisaged it happening at all,” he said.
“We were making plans at Bradford and I was in deep discussions with Mark (Bower) and (assistant) Danny (Boshell) about players and pre-season.
“It came totally out of the blue.
“They did really well last season under Lee as they got to the play-off final so when I received the call it was definitely a big shock.
“I was a little taken aback to be honest.
“I was really honoured and I told them that I really appreciated the call and giving me the chance to express myself and put across how I would work as a manager.
“It was all happened quite quickly.
“I got the call mid-last week and I had to speak to Mark about it.
“Mark is not the kind of guy who is going to stand in anyone’s way and he allowed (me to speak to Eccleshill).
“I met the owners and chairman (of Eccleshill) and had a really conversation with them for a few hours.
“I listened to their ambitions for the club moving forward in the next couple of years as well as their long term goal for the club and it gave me something to really consider.
“I had a discussion with my partner and in the end I felt it was an opportunity that was right for me and the next step in my career.
“It was too good an opportunity to turn down.”