By Matt Bishop
National League strugglers Guiseley have announced they are going full-time with immediate effect.
The Lions are languishing inside the bottom three of Non-League’s top-tier, and have won just once all season – in August, against bottom club Torquay United.
It is now more than two months since Paul Cox’s men have claimed three points, and they are in danger of being cut adrift at the wrong end of the division.
As a result, a statement on the club’s website read: “We have brought forward the decision to go full-time in order to give ourselves the best chance of achieving our goals this season.
“Plans for the club to start operating on a full-time basis have been under consideration for several months.
“The decision has now been made and several players have already assumed full-time status with the club and start full-time training on Monday.
“Obviously not everyone has gone full-time at the moment but we have done it so that we give everyone the best possible chance to take the club forward.
“Our training schedules are Monday morning, Tuesday night, Thursday night and Friday morning, with Wednesdays off.
“This will allow the players who have jobs outside of football to train with the squad.
“We don’t want to handicap them in any way but there has to be an understanding that we are going to be full-time in the near future.
“We feel that as a club going full-time is the best way forward for us.
“It is a bit of a transitional period but we didn’t want to leave it and be in a position of having to look back and think that we didn’t achieve our goals because we should have made a big decision at an earlier stage.
“It has been a big decision but a decision that over the next two to three years will create a new energy about the club.
“The current part-time players will be allowed a period of grace before coming to a long-term decision as to whether they want to become full-time professionals or play part-time elsewhere. Our manager has stated that there will be no favouritism when it comes to selecting players who are full-time or part-time in the weeks and months ahead.”
Guiseley are currently playing in their third season at this level, having been promoted from the National League North in 2015.