New City of Liverpool signing Kevin Ellison has reiterated age is just a number after he got off to a flying start with the Purps.
The 43-year-old left Warrington Rylands last week in the aftermath of David McNabb’s exit from Gorsey Lane.
Ellison managed just a handful of appearances for Rylands after moving back to Liverpool following his stint with Newport County.
After a slow start, the Blues managed to refind their form under their successful manager before they bowed out of the FA Cup after defeat to Hyde United.
McNabb’s shock departure started the change in tide in Warrington after three successive promotions and an FA Vase triumph during that time, the recent success of the club was one of the reason’s behind Ellison’s decision.
He arrived at the Northern Premier League side looking to enjoy his football despite his glittering career in the Football League but his start with Rylands was delayed due a calf injury before he eventually refound match fitness.
However it didn’t pan out that way as Jody Banim took over as caretaker manager at Rylands and before long, the attacker was looking for new pastures.
Describing his time at Gorsey Lane, he told Off The Park: “It was definitely disappointing, I signed under Dave McNabb. For me, on the outside looking around non-league football I seen Rylands over the last couple of seasons doing well.
“When I refused the coaching role at Newport, I spoke to a few clubs – people go you went for Rylands for money, that wasn’t the case because I got offered more money to play in the League of Wales.
“It was about joining a club, I thought at the time, was on the up, a club that’d had a few promotions, been at Wembley a few seasons before and won the Vase. I’m thinking I’m joining a club, at my age, on the up and could do something in the league.
“For me, that was the whole reason for it and number two it was on my doorstep as well. Looking at it, it is disappointing how it went because at the time Dave knew I’d be injured and a couple of weeks away from fitness.
“Then all of a sudden, I come on in one game for Dave then the next game – the game was called off – and Dave decided to leave.”
Following the departure of McNabb and his management team, a number of players followed suit. As a result, speculation had arisen on social media.
Something Ellison likened to television drama, EastEnders. He continued: “Coming to my age, I’ve been around football for years; managers come and go and you just get on with it.
“I wanted to come and enjoy football but the stuff I was hearing – I’m 43 I’ve not got long left, I went into there and in the end it become a bit like EastEnders, that’s not where I want to be.
“I spoke to the club, told them my situation, there was some words said between myself and the manager, we had a chat, he seen it his way, I seen it my way, I wanted to play football so I said it’s best I leave.
“Moving forward, I just want to play football, it’s not about money, it’s great if you get paid here and there but at the same time, I’m 43, how long’s left in my legs – I don’t know. I want to get as many games as I can in and just enjoy it and play with a smile on my face again.”
Prior to his arrival at Rylands, he was offered a coaching role at Newport County following his successful stint with League Two outfit.
The move into coaching would almost certainly signal the end of his playing career, something he wasn’t quite prepared to give up on just yet.
Following his departure from Rylands, Ellison was snapped up by City of Liverpool as Paul McNally looked to bolster his attacking options – prompting an outpouring of best wishes to the attacker.
He added: “It was good, you see going to non-league teams people will look at it like ‘ah Kev Elly, you’re signing him? He’s 43 years of age.’
“But I know, and that’s why I refused a coaching contract, I can still affect and influence games and I can still play a part whether it’s a full game, half a game or coming on as a sub, who knows? I knew I can affect games and that was the whole reason I still wanted to play.”
The former Morecambe attacker took the opportunity to quash ongoing murmurs that he is looking to take the step up into management.
“People are signing me and look at it in the summer and think ‘Kev Ellison, he’s 43, what are you doing signing him?’
“I spoke to a few of my mates at different clubs and I’d spoken to their manager, they said they’d get back to me regarding a contract then the next thing I hear is ‘don’t touch Kev Ellison, he’s after your job’ they don’t realise I just want to play football.
“I’ll put it out there, the only reason that if I’m at the football club and I get a job is because you as a manager has failed and got sacked. There’s no other reason, if you’re doing well and Kev Ellison’s in your side, you’re not going to lose you job. If you’re not doing well and Kev Ellison’s in your football club and you get sacked, that’s down to you not producing the goods on the Saturday.
“For all these manager’s that are worried about taking me on board, that’s why I spoke to Paul, Paul McNally was at Skem when I spoke to him in the summer and that’s another reason why I’ve came to City of Liverpool, I know how he works, he’s got faith in his own ability,” he said.
Ellison has now moved into education as he looks to help the next generation and offer inspiration – something he is also offer to his teammates at City of Liverpool. He continued: “He’s not worried about having me around, I’m here to play football matches and enjoy it but at the same time, I can help younger lads and that’s what I want to do.
“It was becoming frustrating because there was words being touted round that I’m after jobs but I just want to play football and I don’t want a manager, I want to be a coach when I finish but I’m not finished. Hopefully I’ve got another year or two left in me.”
He wasted no time in getting stuck into the action with the Purps as they faced a tough trip to Hanley Town for his debut.
And it was the perfect start for Ellison as he picked up a goal, two assists and the man of the match award.
The win took McNally’s side off the foot of the table, picking up his first win since taking over.
Although Ellison wasn’t too keen on reaping the personal accolades, citing his hopes for using the win to be a spring board for an upturn in form.
He continued: “As a debut, people would say it could’ve gone better but I had one chance I took it, I set up two.
“My parents didn’t come the game but would’ve said ‘you could’ve scored three in them games’ but I didn’t get three chances, I got one and set two up.
“More importantly, it’s about the win because bottom of the league and to go to Hanley who had five or six ex-pros to get a result, people will look at the 3-2, but after 55 minutes we could’ve been six or 7-0 up, we had plenty of one-on-ones that we should’ve but that’s partly why they down the bottom, they haven’t been taking the chances.
“Hopefully we can put that right and start to kick on. The boys have got to take confidence from the result, it wasn’t just a 3-2 win away from home, Hanley are going to be there or there about at the end of the season.
“They were tipped at the start to do well, the boys need to take confidence from that for the next game. It looks bright moving forward.
“I know Paul McNally is still trying to get players in because he’s inherited a squad which managers, whatever level they’re at, will always have their ideas and implement their philosophies on games. It looks healthy at the minute and as a whole, we need to get more points on the board.”