Steve Elliott: Cheltenham captain praised for ever-present campaign

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'Phenomenal' Elliott in his prime

Veteran Cheltenham defender Steve Elliott has been praised for his "colossal" achievement of playing every league game this season.

The 34-year-old is in his third season with the Robins and has made 49 appearances in total.

"Did I think he would play 46 league games this season? Not a prayer," Cheltenham manager Mark Yates told BBC Points West.

"He's been colossal. He can be really proud of his achievements."

Elliott came through the ranks at Derby County, making his Premier League debut in 1997 against Newcastle.

In November 2003, he was loaned to Blackpool and made a permanent move to Lancashire three months later.

After making 33 appearances for the Tangerines, Elliott joined Bristol Rovers where he spent the next six years.

Cheltenham signed the centre-back following his release from the Pirates in 2010 and he has become an integral member of Yates' squad, making 137 appearances so far.

"He's been phenomenal for us. He's been brilliant since I brought him to the club," added Yates.

"We always knew we were getting a leader, a man and a character in the dressing room. He's a quiet one but his performances have been excellent this season. You wouldn't think he was 34."

And Elliott himself admitted: "To not get any bookings, suspensions or knocks is an achievement. I've got to give credit to the physios and the coaches but also to myself. I'm really proud.

"You start to learn about your body as you get older. I can't go chasing round all the 19 and 20-year-olds on the pitch like I used to but they look after me here and try and get the best out of me."

Cheltenham have already guaranteed a play-off place this season, but could still achieve automatic promotion on Saturday if they beat Bradford and Rotherham lose to Aldershot.

Elliott is hoping the disappointment of losing in the League Two play-off final last year will spur them on to go one better.

"When you lose a play-off final, you've got to come back from that hangover. You look at Torquay [last year's semi-finalists] at the moment who are struggling.

"We've managed to come back and we've got a good group of lads here and we're a little bit closer than we were last season. Hopefully we can build on last season's experience."

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