Forward Will Longbottom is the latest signing to be announced by Guiseley AFC as the new season in the Pitching In League approaches, writes Rachel O’Connor.

The former Bradford (Park Avenue) player joins his old manager Mark Bower at Nethermoor saying: “I enjoyed every minute under him and Bosh (Danny Boshell) at Avenue so it is a privilege to play under them again here at Guiseley. My aim is to enjoy my football, score plenty of goals and give 100 per cent. I can play in various positions across the front line and I will do my best for the team.”

He added: “I am really looking forward to playing for Guiseley, there was a great atmosphere when we played them. I have a few friends who have played for Guiseley and they all said positive things about the club. They said it was a real family club and that means a lot to me.”

Currently holidaying in Portugal Longbottom is clearly impressed with the squad Guiseley are pulling together. He commented: “There are big players coming in and it looks like the club are pulling together a squad capable of promotion. It says a lot for a club that former players like Jordan Thewlis who have been playing at a higher level want to come back and help the club achieve their aims.”

Leeds-born Longbottom started his career at Doncaster Rovers, joining them as an 11 year-old and remaining there for ten years. He signed a professional contract with the club and made around a dozen first team appearances.

Whilst at Rovers he had loan spells at Kidderminster Harriers and Gainsborough Trinity describing his time at Harriers by saying: “I loved playing for Harriers, it was my first experience of non-league football playing in Conference North. Around Covid time I left Doncaster and went to Ireland where I was supposed to be going to play for Shamrock Rovers but things didn’t exactly work out and I ended up playing for Waterford for six months.”

Longbottom returned to England and had a handful of games for Avenue before joining Farsley Celtic for the 2021-22 campaign. Then in 2022-23 he returned to Avenue and played 42 games scoring 11 goals. The following season, however, was not as successful as he started to suffer with a niggling knee problem. He has now had the problem sorted and is raring to go with Guiseley when they return to training on June 29th.

Away from football Longbottom enjoys going to the gym and he and his partner Emily run an online coaching business. He explained: “We run coaching online for women between 40 and 80 years, helping them with weight loss and general well being. I also run some ‘HITT’ classes from a studio in Leeds which involve dumbbells and weights.”