Houghton and Morris commit to stay but Wellstead departs Linnets
MARK HOUGHTON and Aaron Morris have committed their futures to Runcorn Linnets ahead of the club’s maiden campaign in the Evo-Stik League.
Manager Michael Ellison also confirmed that Houghton – one of only three players in the club’s entire history to make 200 appearances at the Millbank – will miss the start of the season through injury.
“Mark was hampered by the problem for much of the season just ended,” Ellison said.
“He was prepared to battle through in typically unselfish fashion.
“However, it has reached the stage now where the injury needs sorting.
“The downside is that he will miss the start of the season but the positive is we can expect to get him back fully fit and firing on all cylinders.”
Ellison was similarly enthusiastic about Morris’s re-signing. The centre-back has been voted supporters’ player of the season for two consecutive years, and Ellison believes the defender played a big role in their title success.
“Aaron has been a key part of our defensive unit, initially in the season before last when he was an impressive everpresent,” Ellison said.
“While our goalscoring record dominated the headlines, our defensive capabilities were equally important to our title run and Aaron played a big part alongside Jimmy Moore.
“It is great news that an excellent young player such as Aaron has confirmed a willingness to stay with Runcorn Linnets as we move up to the next level.”
Ellison added: “We will need our senior players and having Kyle Hamid, Paul Shanley, Louis Corrigan and Freddie Potter also committing so early is a massive boost.”
One player who will not be joining Linnets in the Evo-Stik, however, is Stuart Wellstead.
The forward has left the club to pursue a career in football management.
“Obviously we are gutted to see Stu go,” Ellison reflected.
“He has been a tremendous player for Runcorn Linnets and his experience and goals have been really important to the club.
“He’s been a great lad to have around and we wish him well in the next chapter of his football career.”