Ossett United: Sing When Your Agglutinating
That’s right. In the tiny crook of the Wakefield, come to Greater-Leeds, there’s little old Ossett. With a population size which could fit in the Emirates three times over, there’s a good question as to why Ossett held two football clubs anyway. Yet, the city of Leeds purely observes the infamous Leeds United.
This led the town to an incredibly fractured football scene with both Ossett Albion and Ossett Town both offering non-league football at similar levels. Both of which were last seen in the eighth tier of the English football pyramid. Yet, perfect for the Yorkshire-man who doesn’t like to go far from home with Albion at home one weekend and Town the next.
In reality, neither club saw benefit from this arrangement. Attendances were low at both grounds. You must also consider the town is home to a major rugby team within the local vicinity too; meaning this small town had an abundance of sport – realistically too much for the population.
The solution? Merge. Unification. Agglutinate. Two become one. From Ossett Albion and Ossett Town, comes the newly created: Ossett United. With Albion and Town combined, it brings the town’s football fans together. I’ve previously argued the two Nottingham clubs should practice the same activity, but man supporters stated unrest over the hypothetical integration.
Some Ossettites launched an outcry at the merger; claiming their respective club’s activity in this move has killed off their history. To these incredibly bitter people, Albion/Town have fallen by the wayside and the new club doesn’t serve the loyalist Albion-Town supporters. Naysayers say nay, haters gonna hate. But many embraced the change. One local man expressed an observation: ‘for years the town centre was full of Manchester United shirts’ *shudders*, yet they’ve been retired in favour of the new sky blue Ossett United shirts, allegedly.
You die-hards who possess a long-standing, deep-seated, near-unexplainable hatred for a rival football club (whose ground you probably haven’t even been 50 miles of); might not want to merge with your rivals. But for many, merging makes a lot of sense. I’ve long proposed the two Nottingham clubs, Forest and County, should come together. It wasn’t so long ago Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday were proposing a merger.
Football teams fight over more than the ball you see. There is sponsorship from international investors, brand exposure and of course the local support. A city like Sheffield with two clubs is effectively shooting itself in the foot; dividing the support and everything football across the city. Pre-empting luxurious aviation corporations fighting over their shirt space, the Ossett clubs have come together.
Oh, how well it’s gone. Granted, United are a few games into this new club’s history, this embryonic phase is a winning one. Other clubs from the result of mergers include Hayes and Yeading, Rotherham and of course: Newcastle United. None of which won their first competitive match. Ossett Town won their first two. Which clearly shows this team is bound for greatness. Right? They’ve since tied their third league game and remained unbeaten in all competitions – with a 2-2 draw in the preliminary rounds of the FA Cup.
The newly formed team is also enjoying a healthy spurt in interest. In its first home game, it recorded the highest attendance in the league. 502 watched Ossett hammer Cleethorpes 4-0.
There are an incredibly big dream and design for the club. This club is not content with simply being an eighth-tier team. Ossett United have ambitions of breaking into the football league. Right now, the club is a few divisions to climb and future stadium expansion plans needed – the ambition is rightly set high.
Just how is the team doing it? This team is made up of players from two sides who finished mid-table in the eighth tier. It’s hard to say. There is a certain validation which the players will get from joining the club. These were the chosen ones to represent this new era of Ossett.
One of the new faces is Shiraz Khan, who may become a full international for Pakistan very soon and is playing some very good football at this level.
Joining him is Alex McQuade, he’s played at the highest level of consistent quality football having turned out for Shrewsbury in league one. Yet, Adam Priestley is an international for Gibraltar and played against the likes of Mesut Ozil, Jerome Boateng, and Mario Gotze; when played the Germans in a qualifying match. He was of course, on the losing side.
The club has produced some amazing GIFs of the players for its social media channels too, which help embed the character of the team and individuals. Much like this humorous one shared after the player scored a goal.
So far so good for Ossett United. This collaboration of clubs has indeed brought Ossett footballing success (so far) and in agreement with their club mantra says, they are indeed #StrongerTogether.