Boss Ellerby leaves Irish

Actions from the Saturday football, Halifax Irish v Wakefield City at Natty Lane, Illingworth
Pictured for Irish is new manager Chris Ellerby
Actions from the Saturday football, Halifax Irish v Wakefield City at Natty Lane, Illingworth Pictured for Irish is new manager Chris Ellerby

Chris Ellerby has resigned as manager of Halifax Irish Club after six years in charge.

The 29-year-old has taken charge of North Counties East League side Nostell Miners Welfare, who are at home to Haworth Collieries in the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Cup tonight.

Striker Antony Brown and full back Bradley Wilkinson have gone to Nostell with Ellerby.

Irish are Calderdale’s only team in the West Riding County Amateur League following the demise of Ovenden West Riding.

They are seventh in the Premier, five points behind leaders and current champions Huddersfield YMCA with a game in hand.

Ellerby took over the Irish from Nick McConnell when they were in danger of relegation to the basement division. They have since gained promotion, won the Division One Cup and established themselves in the top flight.

Ellerby said it had been a tough decision to leave a club he had joined as a player and launched his coaching career with by helping with the juniors.

He admitted his decision to move on to the NCEL was partly motivated by the increasing trend of players leaving the club to step into that league.

“I have made no secret to people over the years that when the right opportunity came up to move into the NCEL I would look to move on.

“That’s no disrespect to the Irish Club. They have been fantastic for me and gave me an opportunity at 23 years old, but the league has regressed over the years.”

Ellerby admitted the timing of his departure wasn’t ideal but said he had faith in those left in charge at West Vale.

“Tony Kniveton has come in this year to help my assistant Jonathan Baird and they are great blokes. I fully expect them to steady the ship and take it on to the next level.

“The club has some fantastic players like Steve Fullard, Damon Gledhill-Nichols, Damian Randall and Gary Ash.”

Baird and Kniveton took charge for the Irish’s 4-3 extra time defeat to Brighouse Town’s development side in the West Riding Challenge Cup last Saturday.