Top goalscorer Aaron Martin leaves Brighouse Town for AFC Guiseley

Aaron Martin. PIC: Steven Ambler.
Aaron Martin. PIC: Steven Ambler.

Brighouse Town's preparations for next season have been dealt a blow following the departure of star striker Aaron Martin.

The 27-year-old, who scored 30 goals in 42 games last season, has joined National League North side Guiseley AFC.

The prolific forward provided 11 assists with his feats seeing him pick up the Player-of-the-Year award as well as top goalscorer and Players' Player-of-the Year.

Martin scored 17 goals in the 2017/18 campaign, in what was his debut season at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium.

His goals fired Brighouse Town to victory in the play-off final against Pontefract Collieries last season.

The former Sheffield United academy player also picked up the golden boot in the Evo-Stik NPL East.

Brighouse manager Vill Powell revealed that Martin would have stayed at the the club had they been promoted to the Premier Division following their comprehensive 3-0 win over Pontefract Collieries in the play-off final.

“He is ambitious and goes with my blessing and will always be most welcome back at the club," said Powell.

"He wants to play at a higher level and test himself and I am sure he will do well for them.

“Obviously when someone has scored 30 league and cup goals in a season, along with making many assists, then you do want to keep them, but at his age now he needs to have a crack at a higher level of football and he will get this with Guiseley.

“It is most disappointing for the club that we have not been promoted owing to the FA restructuring programme."

But Powell insists that Brighouse have refused to lose hope about a possible promotion.

"We have not given up and only this week we have combined with Premier Division club Warrington Town, who lost a play-off game with Kings Lynn for a National League North place, to let our league and the FA know we are still adamant we want to go up should National League Gateshead be relegated to the Evo-Stik Premier over alleged breaches of various rules," added Powell.

“Aldershot are hoping for a National League reprieve and then there are Truro City, Heybridge Swifts, Warrington Town and ourselves hoping something comes up to see a promotion rather than staying at last season’s Step 3 and Step 4 levels."