THERE’S A new era at Seacroft WMC Athletic where Les Nelson hopes his Ironwood View side can check in at the top under he and new joint-boss Glenroy Hylton.
The team were dubbed the ‘Crazy Gang’ under club stalwart Mick Hibbert – but are now opting for influences of Coventry City, Bury and Barnsley under their new co-managers who are both young dads.
Seacroft were formed back in 2000 by Hibbert who was convinced his side were about to fold when he was greeted by just five players on the first day of pre-season training in 2012.
Former Seacroft Colts player Sean Burton helped the team ride the storm when coming in as manager before leaving and now Seacroft locals Nelson and Hylton hope to take Athletic to the next level.
Both have stepped up from being WMC outfield players and are charged with conquering a league quickly gaining a reputation for being the strongest Sunday set up in Yorkshire and one of the best in the north. But Nelson hopes he and his new joint-manager can find the building blocks to success – quite appropriate with Hylton working within the construction industry.
Nelson told the YEP: “Glenroy and I work very well together and we are both involved in everything from arranging training sessions to team selection which is great as they say two heads are better than one! Balancing family life and football will be a challenge but we haven’t really noticed that its taking up too much additional time although it is only early days. Glenroy is an amazing dad and absolutely dotes on his little daughter Mya, who has just started reception. She is absolutely the apple of his eye and is a Seacroft fan through and through! And so are we really.
“I have played at various levels within the game and have been at Seacroft WMC for around a season and a half. But our manager at that the time Mick needed to concentrate on the club as a whole and needed to put a new management team in place so approached Glenroy and I who both accepted the challenge.
“Glenroy is also a local lad who lives within Seacroft and he has played at various levels. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the team. He has been involved with Seacroft WMC for around four years and brings great passion and togetherness – you can tell just watching him on the sidelines that he really wants Seacroft to do well. At present he is injured but I’m sure once he’s fully fit he will be itching to play again!”
Hylton’s influence has also stretched to off-field activities with the new joint manager having revamped the club’s changing rooms. And the former Brainwood High School pupil’s footballing pedigree is also there for all to see with the 30-year-old once trialing at Coventry City where he scored two goals.
Hylton played for Farsley Celtic in his teenage years and after playing for Wakefield City in his 20s went on to have spells with Farnley, Gate, Yorkshire Amateur, Pool and East End Park. Nelson, meanwhile, formerly of Temple Moor High School, spent his younger days playing for Farsley Celtic Juniors. Trials for Barnsley and Scarborough followed with Nelson then going on to play and train for Bury for a short time thanks to the influence of Lutel James. Spells at Tadcaster Albion, Eccleshill United and Ossett Town were next – and importantly at new Combination League rivals Halton Moor. Nelson, 32, reasoned: “I played for Halton Moor under Danny Walsh on and off for six years and I have a lot of respect for Danny.
“I learnt a lot from seeing how he ran his club – he was always honest and passionate about his football and always managed to somehow pull some great teams together.
“When we play them this season it will be the first time I’ve personally come up against my old team as a manager of the opposing team. Our aim is just to build on last year as we finished fourth within the league after a bad start and we didn’t really compete within the cups as we had hoped to do. The team of lads we have brought together and still have are fantastic and everyone is really up for the forthcoming season.”
Proof of that has been illustrated in two results in particular already this term. Seacroft were 2-1 winners at home to champions Chapeltown Fforde Grene two weeks ago and last weekend blitzed early league leaders Belle Isle WMC 6-1 in the Leeds FA Sunday Senior Cup first round. Nelson reasoned: “It’s been a positive start and the lads are gelling well with the new additions so myself and Glenroy are really happy. We’d like to thank all involved with Seacroft but a massive shout out has to go to the players old and new. We are under no illusions that this is going to be a massive test with teams such as Chapeltown, Halton Moor and HT Sports but we are hopeful with the group of lads we have together that we can compete for honours.”
Expect Hylton’s young daughter to be cheering on the sidelines – but don’t expect the same of Nelson’s two little ones. Nelson has two daughters in four-year-old Havana and 10-year-old Jasmine, but admitted: “Unlike Glenroy’s daughter I’d have to drag them kicking and screaming to a game!”
Ground: Ironwood View.
Social HQ: Seacroft WMC.
Division: Leeds Combination League Jubilee Premier.
Managers: Les Nelson and Glenroy Hylton.
Chairman: Mick Hibbert.
Captain: Ryan Robinson.
Sponsors: Future Network solutions and MAD scaffolding.