Highly-rated midfielder Elliott Osborne became the third Boro’ summer signing of 2020; the lad signing for us after nearly two years at Stockport County. At the time, it was difficult not to be a little bit excited by the prospect. The midfielder was part of the Hatters’ 2018-9 National League North title-winning team for a start. And, if that wasn’t enough, his performances in the 2019-20 campaign earned him rave reviews. Well, it was enough to get him a spot in sponsor Vanarama’s Team of the Season* anyway.
*Up to the point the coronavirus cut short the campaign.
In signing him, boss Alex Revell echoed the praise that Osborne had attracted: “He is coming off the back of a couple of hugely successful seasons. He will bring goals, a creativity and dynamism that we are all excited to watch”. But Boro’ only ended up catching a glimpse of his promise in an 18-month spell interrupted in part through injury. With Revs gone and Paul Tisdale in, Osborne’s time with us came to an end in early 2022; the lad moving back down the pyramid to Altrincham.
Elliott Osborne: Before Boro’
A native of Stoke, it’s no surprise that Osborne’s career started in his hometown – albeit with Port Vale. He couldn’t make the breakthrough he wanted at Vale Park, however. So, after nine years with the club, he was free to find a new club. And that new club would be Newcastle Town of the Northern Premier League (Division One). He quickly impressed at Town too; earning a move up a level to Nantwich Town after just half a season.
Again, the goals flowed and the plaudits rained down on the young midfielder. And that’s when Football League clubs started to take note. In June 2016, he sailed into League One; signing for Fleetwood. But he didn’t get too much of a chance; instead going out on loan to Tranmere Rovers (September 2016) and Stockport County (January 2017).
Into the 2017-8 season and it was more of the same; moving along the coast to Morecambe on a half-season loan deal. After returning to Fleetwood with the loan deal up at the Globe Arena, he ended up being offloaded (together with Dion Charles) to Southport for one of those undisclosed fees. He saw out the season and the start of the new one at Haig Avenue, before the Hatters came calling once more in September 2018.
First, it was a loan deal. But it was such a success that he joined for good in November. And, when we say “for good”, we mean ’til June 2020 when he came to us. Obviously.