Guiseley boss Bower is hoping for help from neighbouring clubs

Rob Atkinson
Rob Atkinson
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Everybody needs good neighbours and Guiseley manager Mark Bower is banking on that ringing true during the forthcoming season.

The Lions make their eagerly-awaited National League bow on Saturday when they visit Welling United in their first game in the fifth tier of English football, with their elevation potentially opening a door with West Yorkshire’s three Football League clubs.

Guiseley have already made a successful request to Huddersfield Town, who recently agreed to young forward Jake Charles moving to Nethermoor on a month’s loan and Bower is hoping to also forge a communication line with former club Bradford City and Leeds United, who are both on the club’s doorstep.

Bower said: “With us being at the next level up in the Conference now, we are coming up against full-time sides and playing on decent stages ans venues that clubs don’t mind letting their young players coming out and playing at.

“Huddersfield think highly of Jake and if we had been a Conference North club, then it may not have been possible.

“But now we are at that higher level, hopefully we can get one or two more lads in.

“It is a situation where we can help the local league clubs and it can help us as well.

“We have done it with Leeds and Bradford in the past and we hope we can carry that on.”

Meanwhile, Guiseley newcomer Rob Atkinson insists that the Lions should aim high this season and has cited the successful play-off charge of FC Halifax in 2013-14 as something to strive for.

The addition of former Accrington, Grimsby Town and Barnsley defender Atkinson took Guiseley’s tally of close-season recruits to five on Monday, with the 28-year-old rebuffing higher-division interest to pin his colours to the Nethermoor mast.

Atkinson, who had been training with Guiseley for several weeks, said: “I have been around the place for a fair time and it’s been good.

“There was interest from other clubs in the same league and those in the league above.

“But logistically with those who were interested, it wasn’t something I wanted to do really.

“Guiseley are definitely a club going in the right direction and they are obviously on a high from promotion last year.

“They have added a couple of experienced players as well and it is a good club to be part of it and it’s local for me.

“I have played at this level with Grimsby and also won the title with Fleetwood as well. I have experience in this league and hopefully I will bring this here.

“Halifax had a good run the year before last to the play-offs and were around that and the top half last year. It shows it can be done and it is a challenge I am looking forward to.

“If you do the basics well, you are always going to stand a chance.

“But there’s a lot of good footballers here too, so if we can mix doing the basics with the talent we have, then I am hopeful it will be a good season for us.”

While the close proximity of Guiseley to his Yorkshire base played its part in his decision to move to the club, Atkinson will also not be short of familiar faces.

He added: “I have played with a couple of the lads before and have also played with Bosh (Danny Boshell), the assistant-manager as well.

“I played with Will Hatfield at Accrington and also know Ben Parker and there’s also a fair few I have played against before and I am just glad to be part of it here.”


GUISELEY chairman Phil Rogerson is targeting an ambitious mid-table finish for the Lions in their maiden voyage in the National League.

Guiseley, ranked as one of the favourites for relegation, may be competing against a host of full-time rivals, but Rogerson is aiming high.

He said: “We‘ve deliberately not gone full-time. But with the signings we’ve made and ones we have retained, we are looking at mid-table and would be disappointed if we weren’t there.

“Locky (Adam Lockwood) has strengthened us at the back and Will Hatfield has certainly shone in pre-season games. Tom (Craddock) also has a good reputation and alongside Adam Boyes, it should cure any problems up front. It’s all looking good.”

“It’s difficult to look at that level above to decide what we need to compete. It’s such an unknown, it’s the same with the admin side.

“You are always concerned you have missed something. But we have coped before and I am sure we will do again.”

Rogerson is also confident that Mark Bower will also step up once again and continue his managerial success at the next level with Guiseley and says the decision to appoint him as Steve Kittrick’s successor in the autumn of 2013 has been fully vindicated.

He added: “Mark is not one to shout about things. He just gets on and gets the job done and he has proved himself..

“I have always said if you can recruit from inside the club, that you have a bit of a running start as that person will know what players are there and Mark also has that league experience.”