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Reversal in decision makes for continued good fortune for Runcorn Linnets and boss Michael Ellison

By Hugo Varley

MICHAEL ELLISON admits he is mightily relieved that he changed his mind at the last minute about quitting as manager of Runcorn Linnets.

The former club captain had just guided the Linnets to the North West Counties League title in his first season in charge, with the Cheshire side smashing the 100- point barrier and scoring 122 goals in the process, when news of his resignation broke.

Ellison’s decision to stand down stunned supporters, with the Linnets eyeing a first ever season at Step 4 level.

But, following 11th-hour  discussions with the board, Ellison dramatically reversed his resignation.

“I am so happy that I have ended up staying,” Ellison told The NLP.

“To be honest I think there was a lot of mis-communication between myself and the board with regards to what we wanted to achieve this season.

“Some people claimed that I was asking for more money but it was never really about money, it was simply about the club’s ambitions going forward.

“Once I sat down and talked to the board we were able to resolve any issues and a rather chaotic few days was finally put to an end”.

Linnets were four points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik West table before yesterday and Ellison is again excited for the future.

“We are trying to go under the radar at the moment so are hoping that no-one notices us at the top for now!

“This is the highest level that the club have ever played at so we knew that it was going to be a massive step up for us but the boys have adapted far quicker than I could have ever expected.

“We are not naive though, it is far too early to consider ourselves as promotion contenders. I can remember last October we were miles behind the leaders at this point in the campaign and everything ended up changing, so the situation is always very fluid. What has really helped us is that the nucleus of our squad is more or less the same as last year.

“This meant that we haven’t had to wait for the team to jell together and were able to hit the ground running immediately”.

Ellison was something of a cult hero in his playing career at Runcorn, making more than 200 appearances in the heart of the Linnets midfield.

Since turning to management The Linnets boss has been able to further ingrain himself into the club’s folklore and overturn a couple of previous regrets.

“When I was playing we kept getting so close to promotion to Step 4 but always seemed to come up just short,” Ellison explained.

“We finished in second place three years on the bounce and when I hung up my boots I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to help Runcorn to the next level.

“To have been able to help the club finally reach Step 4 from the dugout is therefore extremely special for me”.

The Linnets certainly have the wind in the sails at the moment and while Ellison is keen to keep a lid on any potentially unfounded enthusiasm, he admits that the club is progressing nicely.

“The facilities are getting better and better here and if the club are willing to make the commitment then there is no reason why we can’t go  further,”?he continued.

“It is a fan-owned club which is brilliant in one respect but it does mean that we are not able to offer players the kind of money that other sides in the division can, so we have to attract them with our team ethic and success on the pitch.

“This club is a big part of my life and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

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