As the clock hurtles down to kick-off in our “HEM-ATH 360-Action All Areas” Bootiful Game coverage of Saturday’s Toolstation NCEL Premier Division clash between Hemsworth Miners Welfare and Athersley Recreation at the Yorkshire NuBuilds tomorrow, our intrepid reporter and Wells aficionado, Ellie Dalglish, caught up with Hemsworth’s front man-and former right-side midfield player- Nash Connolly, who took time to reflect on almost half a decade at the club, writes Ellie Dalglish for the Bootiful Game.
Nash was on the fringe of the first team at Shaw Lane before moving to Wells, he told Ellie. “I knew about Hemsworth, being a local lad myself, and it was just the right fit” he explained. “I knew a couple of lads who played here so it was quite an easy decision for me to come to Hemsworth. This is my fifth season with the club so I’ve been here quite a while!”
Nash manages to juggle his footballing activities pretty well, as he told Ellie, and he revealed the identity of one of his workmates. “It all fits quite well. I live a stone’s throw away from the ground, so making training and match days is quite easy. It’s a Monday to Friday job. I actually work in the same office as [Manager] Wayne [Benn]!”
The Connolly family is about to welcome another addition, so Ellie wondered if a young family impacted on his football. Nash was quick to dispel any such concerns. “Yes, we’ve got a girl on the way!” he beamed.”My partner loves football. She’s got a season ticket so she comes to watch all the home matches. My little boy’s football mad and he loves watching his dad play. He’s already a part of the Under 7s Mini- Miners team -so he’s already in the system”.
Inevitably, given the marvellous steel and coal heritage which runs like blood through the NCEL, there’s a family connection for Nash, too “My granddad played for Hemsworth” he told us “My dad was more of a Hemsworth Town lad. He never played for the Welfare -so there’s a bit of rivalry there. There were two clubs originally. Town was actually based in Hemsworth and Hemsworth Miners Welfare was based in Fitzwilliam. Similar clubs in different locations”.
Nash revealed an encouraging link (it says here) to Yorkshire’s most famous club. “I’ve been playing football since I can remember” he recounted. “It’s been a main love of mine all through growing up. My granddad took me to Sheffield Wednesday -and I’ve been watching them since I was five years old so it’s the only thing I’ve known really!”
“ I was part of my schools’ teams, my college team -and every team I could get into”.