Jelleyman wants to be part of a Tulips promotion bid

Gareth Jelleyman in action for Boston United
Gareth Jelleyman in action for Boston United
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Spalding newcomer Gareth Jelleyman insists the club can mount a second successive promotion challenge next season.

The 33-year-old former Peterborough and Mansfield left-back says he would not have joined the club had they not shared the same ambition as him.

The former Welsh Under 21 international, who has joined the club as a player-coach, revealed Tulips boss Pat Rayment tried to bring him to the club during the UCL title-winning season just ended.

Jelleyman, who has more than 200 Football League apparances under his belt, said: “I spoke to Pat towards the end of the season but felt at that stage it was too big a drop to go down to the UCL.

“Now they have gone up to the Evo-stik South it is a different matter. The club are very ambitious and that’s just the sort of club I want to play for.

“As a footballer you obviously want to be winning games and that’s something I can see Spalding doing a lot of next season.

“Pat sold the club to me and we both want to win automatic promotion next season.”

Jelleyman has arrived at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field in a dual role and is an excellent replacement for dependable defender Adam Jackson - who has linked up again with former boss John Chand at Holbeach - and will also help out on the coaching side as Danny Hussey has left the club.

But he insists the playing side of the role is by far the most important to him.

He added: “I am coming here as a player first and foremost. We have an excellent coach in Marcus Ebdon, who I know very well, so I will concentrate on the playing side but will give Marcus and Pat whatever help is needed on the coaching side.

“I wouldn’t say I am a super-exciting player, I am more your bread and butter Mr Consistency and obviously I will bring a lot of experience to the team.”

Jelleyman had been linked with a return to Corby in a player-coach role but when the opportunity came to join Spalding he felt it was a better option.

He skippered Corby last season until leaving when the club hit financial trouble and he decided against returning there.

He said: “I was a bit unsure about going back there. It ended a bit sourly last season, with not getting paid, so joining Spalding appealed more to me.

“I know all of the lads here and they’re a good bunch so I can’t wait for the new season.

Jelleyman is one of two player-coaches to join Spalding, former Boston keeper Nick Conroy arriving as goalkeeping coach as well as providing competition for Michael Duggan.

Rayment said: “Gareth brings experience on the playing side and will also assist Marcus on the coaching side. He is just the sort of calibre signing I wanted.

“Nick approached me about coming here and Iam more than happy to have signed him. He is a very good keeper.”