Tag Archives: Yorkshire

Harrogate Town promoted to the Football League for the first time in their history

There must be something in the Yorkshire air this season. First Leeds United gain promotion to the Premier League and now Harrogate Town will be playing in the Football League next season.

What a success story for little Harrogate Town. They pushed National League Champions Barrow all the way all season, before eventually finishing second.

After defeating highly fancied Notts County in Sunday’s play-off final 3-1, it is a fairy tale story for a club living in the shadow of Leeds.

A town more famous for its tea rooms than its football club, will be playing amongst the likes of Bradford City, Forest Green Rovers, Port Vale and Oldham Athletic next season.

For the very first time in their history, Town are a Football League club. Harrogate itself attracts tourists from around the world to sample tea and cake in their famous tea rooms.

The club, who averaged around 1,400 in the National League has spent most of its existence in the Midland Football League, Northern Counties East League and Northern Premier League.

The success of Harrogate is down to the father and son team of the Weaver’s. Father Irving bought the club back in 2011. Two years earlier son Simon was appointed as Manager at the age of 31.

In his first season in charge the club finished bottom of the Conference North and were due to be relegated. However, Northwich Victoria were demoted due to financial problems and Town were reprieved.

During the 2017-18 campaign the club made the decision to turn full time. At the end of the season they won the National League North play-offs after beating Brackley Town, which earned them promotion to the National League.

The club finished sixth in their first National League campaign and were rewarded with a play-off game against AFC Fylde. Unfortunately for the Yorkshire side they were beaten 3-1 and lost out on the chance to become a Football League club.

Fast forward a year and Harrogate and the Weaver’s have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication by securing a place in the English Football League Two.

When the season starts again, little Harrogate will no doubt be written off. But in Yorkshire folk are made of true grit and with the enthusiasm of both father and son this little football club could well climb up the Football League ladder and continue to make Yorkshire proud.

Is This The Year Leeds Go Up?

It is fair to say that when Thomas Christiansen was appointed Leeds United manager there was a lot of people sceptical at the challenge that lies ahead this season. As things stand Leeds are second in the Championship scoring 24 goals and conceding just 4 in all competitions in the process. 

Of course it is still early days in what is a gruelling Championship campaign. There has however been some serious improvements at Elland Road but the new signings out the equation the most surprising developments have been skipper Liam Cooper and young prospect Kalvin Phillips. The prosperous Phillips was not much in the picture at Leeds last season under Garry Monk but has started most of this campaign scoring three goals in the process. As well as this Liam Cooper, formerly vice captain, turned captain has really earned the plaudits at Leeds this season with some inspiring performances. Cooper was described by Monk as one of the best defenders in the league that does not start matches and has really stepped up to the mark since the departure of Kyle Bartley.

If Leeds are to be successful this season they need to be able to bounce back from defeat which will of course come. It has been a stunning start to the season for the Yorkshire side but they are going to have to be consistent and grind out results when necessary. The phrase ‘dare to dream’ has been heard enough at Leeds which have often been turned to nightmares. Although, after the terrific display of attacking football that the Elland Road faithful were treated to on Saturday afternoon it may actually be a blessing in disguise selling Chris Wood to Burnley.

It is definitely too early to tell, but Director of football, Victor Orta has demonstrated a shrewd eye for a player with some remarkable dealings in this transfer window. The selling of Chris Wood was definitely a test but Leeds have done everything right so far. There are certainly, as always, uncertain times ahead for Leeds United fans and whatever the long and short term future may be, there is one thing for certain, it is going to be an incredible season ahead in the Championship.

Leeds fans is the year you get promoted back to the Premier League? Let us know in the comments section…