Former Wigan Athletic striker Nathan Ellington is hoping Nelson Football Club can help him recover from a three-year absence from football.
The 34-year-old, who scored 59 goals in 130 league starts for the Latics, is currently training with the Admirals after jumping on board alongside one-time Huddersfield Town forward Adnan Ahmed.
The “Duke”, who contributed to the Latics’ rise to the Premier League, scooping the Second Division championship along the way, has been inactive since returning from the Far East following an unsuccessful search for football in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Having been put through his paces by Blues boss Paul Fildes since the New Year, Ellington said: “I got a call from my good friend Adnan (Ahmed) and he told me that the gaffer said that it’d be okay for me to go down and train with the lads.
“I thought it would be a good idea for me to get involved with competitive training again, help the lads out and help the gaffer with the experience that I have which could be transferred on to some of the players.”
He added: “It’s been about three years out now so it’s been a while. I know it’ll take some time for my body to acclimatise to it again but I’m determined to get myself fit.”
Ellington, who went for almost £8m in transfer fees after starting out at Bristol Rovers, has impressed in finishing drills at the club’s training base at Accrington and Rossendale College but he’s refusing to rush a return to competitive action.
“It’s been great,” he said. “The gaffer has welcomed me here and helped me out. He’s let me take a few of the sessions as well. It’s been good with the shooting and stuff. It’s been good helping out the lads as well as trying to get myself fit.
“It’s going to take a bit of time, of course, when you’ve been out for so long. It’s a bit of a shock to the body when you’re trying to get back in to fast movements. Over a bit of time I’m sure my body will get used to it again and then maybe I can get back in to playing competitive football.”
Ellington added: “For me I want to get sharp again and feel like I can play. Once I’m at that stage then I can think about what I’m going to do from there. Right now it’s all about getting fit and trying to help out the team with the knowledge that I can transfer.
“I think they’ve got a great set-up here and a good bunch of lads. I’ve seen them playing some good stuff in training. I haven’t seen any games yet so hopefully I’ll get down to see how the lads get on. I’m here training so it’ll be good to support the lads as well.”
The North West Counties Premier Division wouldn’t be too alien for Ellington after his career was baptised at Tooting and Mitcham United as well as Walton and Hersham before culminating at Southport in the Conference.
Ellington, who went on to make big money moves to West Brom and Watford, said: “I’ve obviously played pretty much every level of the game. I came from the lowest league, through the levels and all the way up, then came back down again.
“I’ve been okay at every level I’ve played so I’m happy to see how it goes. You never know what can happen in football. As long as I get fit, who knows what’s going to happen afterwards?
“When I watch the games on TV I get a bit sad. I felt like there was no future of playing on a pitch. I want to be back on the pitch. Now I’m back in to the training I feel like I can do something so if I can get my body back in shape then I can think about playing again.
“You never get bored of that feeling of scoring. It is always something you miss for a goalscorer like me, with that career and scoring goals all the time.”