Following an exhaustive process over the past few months Mark Wilson and Richard Tracey are the club’s new joint managers with Steve Nicholson as assistant manager.
Chairman Nigel Wakefield said: “We had a huge number of applications for the manager’s post. Many were highly credible candidates and we thank everyone for their interest. However, given the previous connections to the club, the pedigree and contacts as players, coaches and managers in this level and, more importantly higher, this was the obvious choice for me and the committee to make.”
Mark Wilson has played over 1000 matches in the semi-professional game. He signed for the original Emley in 1995 and that spell included the famous visit to West Ham United in the FA Cup third round. Wilson also played for a host of clubs from Frickley Athletic to the likes of Farsley Celtic, Harrogate Town, Worksop Town, Buxton and both Ossett Albion and Town. He also featured as an AFC Emley player in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He has also managed or coached at Evo-stik and NCEL level.
On his appointment Wilson said: “Managing Emley is something I’ve talked about with friends in football for well over 10 years and I’m incredibly happy it has now come about. I’ve played and coached all over the region, but this club has always felt like home. I hold the committee, volunteers and supporters here in such high regard, so I’m determined to make it a success for them as much as myself.”
On working alongside Tracey and Nicholson, he added: “We got together to talk about it and it seemed the most natural thing in the world to work together. We’ve all either directly or indirectly been connected in football for decades and we also realised, as coaches, you’ve got a defender [Nicholson], midfielder [Wilson] and an attacker [Tracey] so we’re well covered across the park.”
Richard Tracey managed Ossett Albion for five years until 2018. Working on limited budgets, he reached a peak position of 9th and narrowly missing out on a play off place but collecting back-to-back “Club of the Month” awards. A number of players coached by Richard at Albion went on to sign for clubs higher up the pyramid – including all the way to the Premier League. Tracey himself played in the Football League for the likes of Rotherham United, Macclesfield Town and Carlisle United before entering non-league with teams such as Bradford Park Avenue, Ossett Town, Frickley Athletic and Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Tracey commented: “Growing up in Mirfield there were two teams in Huddersfield – Town and Emley and I actually made my professional debut AGAINST Emley for Rotherham in the FA Cup at Oakwell. Emley is one of the only clubs that could tempt me back into management. With their heritage coupled with how well the current club is run I really consider them a sleeping giant.”
Steve Nicholson started his career at Leeds United playing under Billy Bremner and Howard Wilkinson for 6 years. He signed for Emley in 1994, spending 10 years with the club and captained the side during the FA cup run to Upton Park in 1998. Steve twice represented the England semi pro team and toured the Far East with the prestigious Middlesex Wanderers squad. Nicholson also played for Farsley Celtic, Worksop Town and more recently has been player/assistant manager at Ossett Albion and Ossett Town for the last 5 seasons.
Nicholson said: “The prestige of this club sells itself and when the opportunity came up, I knew this was the right time to get back to the Welfare Ground. Like Mark, wherever I’ve played or coached, there’s still nowhere that compares to Emley. We all can’t wait to get started.”
Chairman Mr. Wakefield added: “The recently announced change of name to reflect our heritage and the appointment of a high calibre management team who are part of that history gives me great optimism for the future. This is an exciting time to be involved at Emley and I hope everyone in the area gives us their backing – through the turnstile as fans, getting involved as volunteers or supporting financially as sponsors.”
The club also today announce season tickets are on sale for 2019-20 priced £75 for adults and £45 for concessions.
Membership is still available for a flat fee of £90 which includes entry to all home league games, members draw, priority booking for coach travel, access to free or discounted tickets for selected cup and national team fixtures from the FA/County FA.