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Holbeach United assistant manager Dean Elston selects his all-time United Counties League squad




Current Holbeach United assistant boss Dean Elston is among the most decorated of players to appear in the United Counties League.

The no-nonsense centre-half is a five-times Premier Division title winner having tasted championship success with the Tigers, Boston Town and Stamford AFC.

In a series of features on the United Counties League Fans’ social media page, past and present players have selected their best squads with Elston electing for a 4-3-3 line-up.

Current Holbeach United assistant manager Dean Elston.
Current Holbeach United assistant manager Dean Elston.

Nick Conroy

A young lad that you could see would have a say in important games by making great saves and would go on to be one of the best around.

Matty Warfield

A great young lad who was one of the most reliable left-backs in the United Counties League for many a season. He was versatile and as good at centre half and a holding midfield player. He was a great bloke and friend who always had your back.

Nick Keeble

He was deceptively horrible to the opposition but always scored 15-20 goals a year as a centre-half. I hate to say it but what a footballer this guy was and a good friend.

Paul Hill

He made the game look so easy and didn’t have to try, with effortless quality.

Steve Collins

Legend, footballer and total fruit cake.

Nick Conroy was one of the best goalkeepers around.
Nick Conroy was one of the best goalkeepers around.

Milton Graham

Legend and best footballer I have had the pleasure to be on the pitch with.

Steve Appleby

Midfield maestro for many a season. He was an intelligent player whose reading of the game was second to
none.

Ronnie Fortune

Playing against him used to cost me a yellow card every time, but he was superb to have on your side and watch him rip players apart.

Matt Warfield was one of the most reliable left-backs in the league.
Matt Warfield was one of the most reliable left-backs in the league.

Mick Bennett

Played with this great guy at Stamford. A forward who worked so hard every game and scored some goals. He was a Scouse lad who had a wicked sense of humour on and off the pitch.

Steve Kuhne

Kuhney was an old-fashioned centre forward who could really finish.

Daron Harmon

He was always an absolute nightmare to play against. His mentality was the same as mine to ‘win at all costs’ and I don’t care who I upset or kick along the way.

Substitutes

Roy Boon

A prolific goalscorer and always the first thing the manager spoke about.

Andy Gray

What a local legend this guy is. Crazy as a box of frogs but someone you want in the trenches alongside you. He was great in the dressing room but even better on the same side.

Dave Scotney

Another legend and absolute top man on and off the pitch. In my opinion, he was the non-league Alan Shearer.

Scott Kent

Nasty, horrible but a footballer and could he hit a dead ball.

Paul Bryant

Another character in the changing room that made everyone laugh.

Steve Evans’ management was a major motivation.
Steve Evans’ management was a major motivation.

Best manager

“I played for a few, including Bob Duncan at Boston Town, but for me Steve Evans was the manager who made you believe you were unbeatable and motivated you to go out and steam-roller teams by getting you that revved
up.”

Best club you’ve played for

“It has to be my home-town club Holbeach from Under 16s to starting my senior footballing career.

“It’s a great club where I have played 468 United Counties League matches and countless cup games over the years.

“I have seen a lot of great people at the helm which have helped make it the great family club it is now.

“It has been a privilege to have played, coached and be part of the committee which gives you the best understanding of how good the club is run.

“I’ve assisted both first and reserve teams and been involved in the youth academy, coaching from Under 13s to the current Under 18s and playing for the sports development side which gives the youths a chance to taste competitive senior football and strive to ultimately push for a place in the first team.

“I’ve also had great times at Stamford and Boston Town, but I am a Tiger through and through.”

Words of advice to current and upcoming United Counties League players

“It’s difficult in today’s game as so many young players nowadays have so many other distractions that can take away the commitment, desire, hard work and time that it takes to establish yourself in a decent standard of football.

“Players must be honest with themselves and the clubs they play for as to run these clubs there are a lot of unpaid volunteers that work tirelessly for you to be able to go out and play on a Saturday or midweek.

“If you’re lucky enough to be paid for the pleasure, make sure you support your club by having a beer and talking to the fans that have paid to watch you play.

“Wear your shirt with pride and give everything you have because if you are honest and true to yourselves that is the best feeling coming off that pitch knowing you have given everything.

“Listen to experienced players that will help you grow as a player, work hard in training to improve yourself.

“Most of all though enjoy the journey as I can honestly say that the memories do last a lifetime and will be great to look back on.”



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