Thornton Has Two Reasons To Celebrate

We are delighted to announce Will Thornton has signed a new contract with the club to extend his spell to an eighth season.

It is a double celebration today for Guiseley centre-back Will Thornton who, as well as signing a new contract with The Lions, is marking his 23rd birthday writes Rachel O’Connor.

Will, who came up through the Guiseley youth ranks and made his mark in the Academy before promotion to the first team squad, will be looking for a better start to the coming season than he had last time out.

He had his jaw broken in a pre-season game last summer and did not see any match action until November when, after three times as an unused sub for The Lions, he went out on loan to Gainsborough Trinity. In the previous season the big defender had found himself with a big role to play following injuries to key defenders and he made 26 starts and eight substitute appearances going on to win the club’s inaugural Young Player-of-the-Season award.

Will represented the Wharfedale FA Under-17 team which won the West Riding County FA Minor Cup and then made progress with the Guiseley Academy. He has played adult football out on loan with a number of clubs to gain experience, notably with Farsley Celtic.

The young prospect was named on the bench a number of times before making his National League debut for Guiseley as a substitute in 2016-17 at Boreham Wood.

Will joined Gainsborough on loan just days after Curtis Woodhouse took over as manager and he is grateful for his time there saying: “I’ve only got good things to say about my time there, I enjoyed every minute of it. Everything about the club, the chairman, the manager, the people, the staff; they were brilliant to me and it made me enjoy my football again. When you are playing week-in, week-out you enjoy it more and it was a really good experience.”

He added: “Russ O’Neill said I would be better off going out on loan and playing regularly rather than just sitting on the bench at Guiseley as by the time I was fit to play again Scott Garner and Hamza Bencherif had established a good partnership at the back. I gained so much more from starting every game and now is the time for me to prove that I can play for Guiseley. You have got to earn your shirt in pre-season and prove to the management that there is no other choice but you.”

Will spoke of his battle to come back after suffering a broken jaw saying: “Physically as well as mentally it is quite tough to come back but it helped playing in every game at Gainsborough. It was brilliant down there and we had something to play for as we were in the bottom two but we got a run going and moved up the table.

He added: “Now I am back home at Guiseley where I have always had a good relationship with the supporters. They have always been brilliant with me all the way through from the Academy and I am thankful for that. Hopefully I can have a better start to the season this time around.”

Happy 23rd Birthday Will and we can’t wait to see you back at Nethermoor next season!