“We didn’t keep our best players last year!” Elliott hoping to tie up top Boston United performers before it’s too late

Ashley Hemmings.
Ashley Hemmings.

Craig Elliott is determined to get Boston United’s top performers signed up for next season after seeing last year’s ‘best players’ slip through his fingers.

Leading scorer Ashley Hemmings and skipper Jordan Keane both moved on in the summer, while Reece Thompson returned to parent club Guiseley.

Kabongo Tshimanga - who netted his 30th goal of the campaign for Oxford City last week - was also allowed to leave the club.

“I think the one mistake we did make as a manager and as a club, we didn’t keep our best players from last year,” Elliott told The Standard, pledging to learn from the error. “I felt that at the end of last year we created a very good team.

“I think that’s the thing. Don’t let it get into the open market in the summer.

“If we could have tied things up with six-seven weeks to go I think it might have been a different story because we were flying, the lads were playing well and they would want to stay.”

Elliott already has George Willis, Nicky Wroe, Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj and Jay Rollins tied up for next term, while Dylan Parkin can also be retained due to being under 23.

Elliott slammed his side following their 2-0 home defeat to Chorley on Saturday, describing them as ‘not good enough for the play-offs’.

While that performance may have changed the manager’s view on some players, he remains keen to avoid another huge summer rebuild.

“That’s obviously looking back and it’s now about looking to the future,” he added.

“I keep saying we need to learn from the mistakes we’ve made as a club and as a manager. (I want to keep) the ones I think will benefit us next year.

“It’s hard, I’m still looking to see if some are good enough and trying to even things out for next year.

“It’s important we do that quickly.”