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Archive - Friday, 18 January 2002
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New challenge for Irvine
JONATHAN Irvine has done the non-League equivalent of moving between Rovers and Burnley - and moved from Nelson to Colne.
The striker, who scored more than 100 goals for Nelson as they pressed for promotion over his four seasons there, has decided to switch his NWCL Division Two allegiance.
"I just wanted a new challenge," said the 27-year-old son of former Burnley legend Willie.
"I have had a great time at Nelson over the years, they are a great set of lads and I have always given 110 per cent for them.
" At times I was banging in goals for fun, I was Player of the Year and I did enjoy it there.
"I have had offers to leave before and been offered more money but I always wanted to stay at Nelson. I was loyal to the club.
"But this season I feel like I have become a bit stale. I guess it is when you aren't doing so well as well. I was getting complacent. I was just ready for a change and Colne came in at the right time for me.
"I don't want to travel because I have a young family and Colne was ideal because it is close.
"I live in Worsthorne so I have never been involved with this Nelson-Colne rivalry. I know there is rivaly but it is not deep rooted in me. I just want a fresh challenge.
"Colne have two young strikers aged 19 and 21 and I am looking forward to playing with them. I enjoy talking and leading the line and it's a young team who are trying to go places.
"I just hope no one from Nelson judges me too badly. I just wanted to give something different a go."
Colne boss John Lister, whose side are sixth to Nelson's 11th, is delighted to get his man and he should start at Daisy Hill tomorrow (ko 2pm).
"We have been watching Jonathan for a number of years but never been in a position to do anything. But the best time to buy players is when you are doing well and he wanted to come.
"He is an experienced player, who has been a prolific scorer, and will be a great help with our two young strikers - George Craddock and Paul Fildes.
"He wants to play at a higher level and, although it may be a bit too late for us this year, we might be able to get promoted next season.
"The Chairman Dave Blacklock has been fantastic. He has put up with people laughing at us over the years when we have struggled but now things have started to happen."
Colne have also snapped up Padiham's Andy Lawson, a former Burnley trainee.
Meanwhile Nelson boss John Bailey is lining up a replacement for Irvine. He said: "It is one of those things. It happens in football and Chuck decided he wanted a new challenge. He told me he was going to see John Lister and I knew then that he would probably join them. He has been a good servant for Nelson and I wish him all the best. We will be looking to replace him as soon as possible."
They have boosted their defence with the signature of Stand's defender Dave Channon who will go into the squad for the visit of bottom club Castleton to Victoria Park.