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Full-time Harrogate Town prepare for new era

Harrogate town - Simon Weaver

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 8:56am 4th August 2017. (Updated at 11:58am 4th August 2017)

A new era for sport in Harrogate gets underway this weekend as Harrogate Town play their first competitive game as a full-time professional club.

The move was announced earlier this year as a way of helping the team progress.

It follows redevelopment of the CNG Stadium, which includes an all-weather 4G pitch, that the squad can train on during the week and which also provides a vital income.

There have been a number of personnel changes over the Summer.

Manager Simon Weaver told Stray FM that he's just eager to get on with the season:

"We've been looking forward to it for a very long time.

"The close-season period, the recruitment process, planning for full-time football and then the pre-season training and fixtures...we're ready and we're chomping at the bit."


In some ways it is a leap into the unknown for Town who play Nuneaton Town on Saturday, another club that has decided to ditch it's part-time status.

Weaver says the club will continue to be run in a business-like way:

"We've always got our eye on the budget. We haven't overspent as a football club this summer.

"In fact, we haven't spent as much as we did in the last three seasons and therefore we've got a younger squad.

"So we've got to wise up quickly."

The club unveiled its new kit this week:

 

Midfielder Josh Falkingham joined the club in pre-season from Darlington.

The Leeds-born player has been impressed with what he's seen so far:

"Obviously we've bedded in well now.

"Being full-time it makes it much easier to get team-bonding and a team-spirit going.

"As long as we've got that determination to go and have a good season we've got the foundations of having a good year."

So what can the club realistically achieve this season?

Weaver admits he wants to see progress on and off the field.

"If we can build the fan base up again like we have done the last couple of years - and we're getting 900+ crowds - and they're enjoying their football - and the game's coninuing to grow within the area, then we'll have achieved that.

"Obviously being in the top seven and cemented in there will help us grow that and help grow the belief that the team and the club are going places.

"And you know, it would obviously be fantastic to be in amongst it."

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