|Full name||Ossett United Football Club|
|League||Northern Premier League Division One East|
|2020–21||Northern Premier League Division One North West (season curtailed)|
Ossett United Football Club is a football club based in Ossett, West Yorkshire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Division One East.
The Formation of Ossett United
Ossett United was created on the 1st June 2018 following the merger of Ossett Town AFC (est. 1936) and Ossett Albion AFC (est. 1944). Both Ossett Town and Ossett Albion had managed to gain Northern Premier League status and maintain that level of football for a remarkable period of time.
The two clubs merged under the leadership of a new board brought together from the two previous clubs. The founding directors were John Chidlaw (OA), James Rogers (OT), Emma Chidlaw (OA), Dawn Rogers (OT), Lee Summerscales (OA) and Lee Broadbent (OT) forming the new Board with support from Phil Smith as CEO. John Chidlaw took on the role of Chairman for the first season. The Club made its new home Ingfield, the previous home of Ossett Town, and used Dimple Wells, the previous home of Ossett Albion, as its Ladies and Academy Team base.
On the pitch, the first year (2018/19) was a remarkable success with attendances significantly increased from what either club had experienced previously, coupled with success on the pitch reaching the play-off semi-final and winning the County Cup, under the guidance of manager Andy Welsh. Off the pitch things were not as successful with a number of resignations and board changes and some challenging financial issues to deal with following the merger. By the end of the 2018/19 season, Phil Smith had taken on the mantle of club chairman following a number of board changes.
Wayne Benn took up the managerial reigns in late 2019 following a poor start to the 2019/20 season, however, that season was ended abruptly in March 2020 with the onset of a global pandemic known as Covid 19. The season was null and voided. Off the pitch there were more troubles for Ossett United in November 2019 as a significant and unprecedented court case, dating back to a tackle in 2015 when Ossett Town were playing Radcliffe Borough, was lost with United facing legal and damages costs amounting to £135,000. Fortunately, the club received a generous loan from two of its closest supporters to avoid the club going into liquidation (at worst) or selling the Ingfield ground (at best).
The start of the 2020/21 season started late due to the ongoing pandemic and virtually finished as soon as it had started with only eight league games having ben played by United. This time the season was curtailed rather than null and voided and meant a second season had gone unfinished. Off the pitch Rogers and Smith swapped roles due to Smith's work commitments and Rogers took on the role as Chairman, a role he had previously held at Ossett Town. 2020 also saw the club declare Dimple Wells as surplus to requirements and made arrangements to surrender the lease making Ingfield the single home of the united club.
We now approach season 2021/22 still operating within the context of the pandemic and under the leadership of Wayne Benn. We start optimistic that with the vaccine rollout we will see our new club complete its second full season. Our finances are now in great shape as we make good progress in repaying the loan and planning a number of exciting developments for the next few months including new floodlights, a new pitch barrier and new dugouts. This new investment will complement the great work that has been done by our supporters and volunteers since we merged to make Ingfield a non-league ground to be proud of. Exciting times ahead for football in Ossett and with the combination of the board and the fantastic volunteers the future looks very bright indeed.
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