We delighted to announce that our captain Hamza Bencherif has signed a new contract with the club and will lead the re-vamped side in the new season.
Central defender Hamza is a very popular figure at Nethermoor and he was joint winner of the Supporters’ Player-of-the-Year award, with Kaine Felix, in the season past having played in 36 games and scoring four goals.
The former Algerian Under-20 international was signed in the summer of 2019 and was made captain following Scott Garner’s move to Boston United. mid-way through the season.
Hamza used his vast experience to bring on the many talented young players we had in our squad last season and is looking forward to doing the same in the upcoming season in the Vanarama National League North.
The Paris-born player first played for French club Guingamp before joining the youth system at Nottingham Forest. He went on to play for Lincoln City, Macclesfield Town, Notts County and Plymouth Argyle and when his Football League career ended in 2014 he joined Algerian side JS Kabylie.
He returned to England to play in the Conference Premier with Lincoln City before joining FC Halifax Town. He left West Yorkshire in 2016 to join Wrexham but returned on a loan deal with York City, later making it a permanent deal which expired in the summer of 2019.
In his time with The Minstermen he played 81 games, one being the 2017 FA Trophy final at Wembley in which York beat Macclesfield Town 3-2.
Speaking of his first season at the club Hamza said: “I enjoyed every minute of it, I discovered a convivial club with great supporters and an amazing young squad full of talent that I have been privileged to see grow during the season, even though I have a feeling of unfinished business as I truly believe with our energy we could have made a late run for a play-off spot.”
Hamza takes great pride in captaining the side and he said: “Just before Christmas we had a period hit by suspensions and injuries with a bad spell of results but we managed to re-group coming into the Festive period and went on a great spell which revived our season. The managerial staff has really created a strong group of honest players with a bond all around the team as our core strength.”
“Taking the role as captain of the club was an honour and I happily took the pressure on to myself to leave the rest of the squad to express themselves on the pitch and we went on to get results in what was a tough run of games. The energy and hunger of the young players is infectious. What they have in common is their honesty, energy and talent and not only have they given me a boost but they also have the hunger for more success.”
Hamza is looking forward to re-kindling the great rapport that he had with the Guiseley fans saying: ”I would like to thank all of the fans as I discovered a convivial and great club in my first season. The support and atmosphere was superb throughout the season. I would like to thank them for all the initiatives taken by the supporters to help the club during these difficult time of lockdown. I hope to see you all soon to celebrate better times.”
The value of Hamza’s experience to the team is shown by a comment from new signing Dan Cowan who said: “I am really looking forward to playing alongside Hamza. He is a vastly experienced player who I think I can learn a lot from.”