Parker’s got no hard feelings following his Guiseley exit

Steven Drench and Ben Parker.
Steven Drench and Ben Parker.
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BEN PARKER insists he has no hard feelings after being shown the door by Guiseley, who have elected not to renew his contract.

The Lions captain and former Leeds United defender, 28, was among eight players released this week, with other prominent names on the list including another ex-United trainee in Gavin Rothery and Liam Dickinson.

Other players freed are Ryan Toulson, Danny Hall, Nicky Boshell, Oliver Norburn and James Hurst, with boss Mark Bower seeking to inject some youth into his squad, which he believes is also top-heavy with defenders.

Regarding his own exit, Parker believes that he ended the National League campaign well – which saw Guiseley escape relegation by the skin of their teeth with a dramatic final-day victory over Torquay at Nethermoor – but equally remains philosophical over his departure.

Parker told the YEP: “I enjoyed it at Guiseley. But it is one of those things which happens in football; I knew my contract was up and the club had got every right to not offer me anything.

“I thought I ended the season quite well and I was looking to start the next season. But it is going to be with someone else now.

“I have been in the game long enough now to know how football works and I have no bitter feelings towards anyone at the club or the people because I have had a fantastic two and a half years there.

“Last summer, I had a couple of offers, but decided to stay at Guiseley.

“I have just got to wait and see; having offers last year doesn’t give me any right to have any this year.

“It is a quiet time at the moment with managers taking stock of their own squads and it is just a case of waiting about.

“I will see what comes and keep myself fit and ticking over and be ready when that phone rings.”

Parker says he will take away precious memories from his association with Guiseley and has revealed that he has made ‘mates for life’ during a memorable stint at Nethermoor.

He added: “In the first season, we lost in the play-off final with the last kick of the game and in the second season, we got promoted.

“Now this year, we have kept ‘little old Guiseley’ in the Conference and it is a time I will look back at when my career finishes with good memories.

“Thinking back, throughout my career, I have always had something to play for at every club I have played for.

“Obviously at Leeds, we were pushing for promotions at the top of the table – and at the clubs I have been at on loan too.

“Going to Guiseley, we were fighting for something that also meant quite a lot to me.

“I am just thankful I played a little part in their history as the fans have deserved it and been there a long time before me trying to get promoted to the Conference North.

“To achieve that and consolidate for next year means quite a lot.

“I have also met a lot of great people along the way and mates for life, to be fair and that is one of the biggest things I can take away from my time there.”

Guiseley squad overhaul means that only Jake Lawlor, Adam Lockwood, Danny Lowe, Oli Johnson and academy prospect Will Wells – are currently contracted to the Lions for next season.

Defender Lowe – who made 51 appearances for the Lions in the 2015-16 season – signed a new one-year deal yesterday while Johnson also agreed new terms.

The club are currently discussing terms with Will Hatfield, Dan Atkinson, Adam Boyes, Luke Porritt, Steven Drench, Adam Smith and Rob Atkinson.