uiseley manager Steve Kittrick gave himself a three-day break in Portugal before returning to formulate a squad for the new season.

The Lions boss, who is operating on the same budget with which he started last season’s Blue Square Bet North campaign according to chief executive Adrian Towers, has already got 11 players signed up for 2012-13.

Kittrick, has, however, said goodbye to five players as he intends to field a squad that has a younger average age.

Skipper Simon Ainge and keeper Steve Drench have signed on the dotted line along with Jamie Clarke, Danny Ellis, Andy Holdsworth, Gavin Rothery, Danny Forrest and Mark Bower, who will have a player-coach role next season, with responsibilities for the defence.

Reserve goalkeeper Jacob Giles is also back on board, while Kittrick’s new signings are England C striker Josh Wilson from Vauxhall Motors, plus fellow 24-year-old Rhys Meynell, who is a left back or mid-fielder from Stalybridge Celtic.

On the other hand, Kittrick has said goodbye to left back Dave Merris, the Supporters’ Player of the Year in 2011-12 who made 61 appearances – more than anyone else – for the Lions last season.

Also going are Ciaran Toner, Guiseley’s Fair Play Trophy winner Lee Ellington, Simon Baldry and Joe O’Neill.

Kittrick explained: “I brought Dave Merris to the club, and he is a personal friend of mine, but you cannot let sentiment come into things and I have made a decision that I believe is in the best interests of Guiseley Football Club.

“But I would like to think that Dave can come back to watch Guiseley, and there would be no hard feelings.

“In Simon’s Baldry’s case, he is 36 and I am looking for a younger replacement. As for Chris Senior and Matt Wilson, they are both Alfreton Town players, while I haven’t heard from James Walshaw since the second leg of the play-offs.”

Kittrick added: “I will be looking to operate with a first-team squad of 18 players, so it is a matter of getting the right players for another push at promotion.”



Simon Ainge, Steve Drench, Jamie Clarke, Danny Ellis, Andy Holdsworth, Gavin Rothery, Danny Forrest, Mark Bower (player-coach), Jacob Giles, Josh Wilson (Vauxhall Motors), Rhys Meynell (Stalybridge Celtic).


Dave Merris, Ciaran Toner, Lee Ellington, Simon Baldry, Joe O’Neill.