Lions Get Their Prince Back

We are delighted to announce that midfielder Prince Ekpolo has re-joined the club after a season in the Vanarama National League North with AFC Telford United, writes Rachel O’Connor.

Guiseley had originally signed the central midfielder from Bet Victor League side Glossop North End as a Non Contract player in the second-half of the 2019-20 season.

On re-joining Guiseley Ekpolo said: “I have had a lot of messages from Guiseley fans asking me to come back and I really appreciate that. They are a big part in why I wanted to return. In all my years in football to be honest there is no place to be like Guiseley AFC.”

He added: “There is just love and joy for the players from the fans and volunteers there. They treated me so well so there was no way I would have said no to going back there. There is something special at Guiseley and I am so happy to be going back.”

Ekpolo made his debut off the bench in the home game with Darlington on January 21st, 2020. His first start came in the West Riding County Cup win at Goole Town on February 18th and his displays sealed a start in the following four league games and the County Cup semi-final win at Harrogate Town before Covid-19 brought a premature end to the season.

The following season was further beset with Covid problems and he made just nine appearances before the league season was again brought to a premature end.

Ekpolo went on to make a big impression in the 2021-22 season with The Lions making 35 appearances and winning the Sponsors’ Player-of-the-Year award and was named the league’s best defensive midfielder.

With Guiseley relegated from National League North Ekpolo’s consistent form for The Lions saw him become the target for a number of clubs.

The former Burscough player started life in Nigeria but moved to Spain where he started playing football at the age of nine. He had aspirations to be a goalkeeper and was dreaming of playing in that position when he was a young child in Africa. He came to England in 2016

When Ekpolo first signed for Guiseley then Joint Manager Russ O’Neill said: “He is going to be massive for us, he will be a big part of our team going forward. He has taken our physicality in the midfield area to a new level. Before bringing him to Guiseley I really thought that he had real potential and he has proved that he has got what it takes to play at this level.”

That admiration goes both ways and this week Ekpolo said: “So many things made me come back to Guiseley but number one is Russ. He has been a great part of my journey in terms of as a person. He has always been there for me whatever challenges I have faced. He is like family to me.”

The player, who works at Preston Royal Infirmary, has set himself some personal targets for the season ahead. He said: “I want to improve in all aspects of my game and I want to become the best midfielder in the league and for the team I am looking for promotion.”

Away from football Expolo loves playing table tennis with his father and brother.

Join Prince at Nethermoor next season with a 2023/24 season ticket with prices frozen at just £145 for adults!

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