Boston United have assembled a squad in their 'peak years' with a wealth of promotion experience

Manager Craig Elliott happy with balance at Jakemans Community Stadium...
United's squad is packed with promotion experience. Photo: Oliver AtkinUnited's squad is packed with promotion experience. Photo: Oliver Atkin
United's squad is packed with promotion experience. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Craig Elliott may still be fine tuning his Boston United squad, but the Pilgrims boss believes he has the right blend of experience and athleticism to compete at the right end of the National League North table.

Not only are many of the players at or close to what Elliott calls their 'peak years', they also have a wealth of promotion and play-off experience.

At one end of the scale you have 38-year-old Paul Green while teenage keeper Jake Frestle and 22-year-old Fraser Preston counterbalance his seniority, but many of Elliott's charges are in their mid to late 20s.

"The average age of the squad is 27, Greeny pushes that up a little," Elliott said.

"But it's a good age. You can go two ways, you can get a young group and see what happens, but I think 26-27 is the peak years for a player, so it shows we're getting players across the board who are a good age and should know what it takes to win stuff and deal with the ups and downs of the season."

There's no real shortage of players who know 'how to win stuff', as the manager puts it.

Green is perhaps the most experienced after helping Doncaster from non-league to the Championship, the former Republic of Ireland international joining the club after securing a place in League One with Crewe Alexandra.

But the ex-Leeds United and Derby County man isn't alone as full back Matt Tootle also helped the Railwaymen to promotion from League Two via the 2012 play-offs.

Winger Terry Hawkridge won the National League title with Lincoln City in 2017 while Joe Leesley and Jake Wright helped Harrogate win the 2017-18 National League play-off final,

Leesley scoring the third in a 3-0 win over Brackley before being part of the Sulphurites squad which won promotion to the Football League two seasons later.

Defender Scott Garner overcame two bouts of play-off heartbreak with the Pilgrims to help FC Halifax win the National League North play-offs.

Left back Scott Duxbury has won this division with Stockport County, United treammate Connor Dimaio also on the Hatters' books that season.

Peter Crook has a UniBond Northern Premier League promotion on his CV with Hyde United while teammates Luke Shiels, Jay Rollins, Jordan Preston, Tom Platt, Andi Thanoj and Jordan Burrow all have valuable play-off experience.

While there's plenty of experience on the pitch, there won't be a shortage in the dug-out either. Manager Elliott has won three promotions with former club Shaw Lane while assistant John McDermott won three promotions as a player with Grimsby Town.

MORE PILGRIMS: Thewlis joins rival - news

MORE PILGRIMS: Familiarity could breed success - news

MORE PILGRIMS: Former players on the move - news