CLITHEROE’S new recruit Oliver McLean has praised Rimington boss Terry Braithwaite after his Shawbridge switch.

The 27-year-old skippered Rimington to a treble last term as the village team clinched the East Lancashire Premier league for the sixth successive season, the Craven Cup and the West Riding County Cup at Elland Road.

“I can’t tell you how much it means to sign for Clitheroe because it is my home town team and it was always my dream to pull the blue shirt on, since I played for Clitheroe Wolves when I was eight,” said McLean.

“I joined Rimington when I was 17, and without Terry Braithwaite’s guidance and help I’d never have achieved this. I can’t thank Terry enough because he did so much for me.

“I was proud to be his captain and to be associated with all the success we enjoyed together at Rimington over the last decade.”

Midfielder McLean had enjoyed a short spell with West Lancashire League outfit Hurst Green, where he impressed Clitheroe boss Simon Garner who has also snapped up Danny Mort from Hurst Green.

“I achieved so much with Rimington, and I don’t think anything will beat winning the West Riding Cup and walking out at Elland Road, because that was the biggest game in Rimington’s history.

McLean could make his league bow when Clitheroe host New Mills on Saturday and he added: “Clitheroe are trying to bring in a few more local lads in, and that’s a really good thing because it might attract more fans.

“But I also know that this is my biggest test and I’m desperate to make it a success with Clitheroe too.”

Rimington boss Braithwaite said: “Oli deserves this opportunity because he works really hard and is a leader on and off the field. He was brilliant for Rimington for ten years and I’m glad Clitheroe are starting to look at the great local talent in the Ribble Valley.”