Harrogate Town AFC: Non-league veterans to football league newcomers

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Football is very much alive and well in the Yorkshire region, boasting teams such as Leeds United, with its rich history, and Bradford City, an example of a massive club within the area. However, Harrogate Town AFC isn’t exactly the first name on everyone’s lips when you think of the enriched football culture in Yorkshire. Well, not until now.

The team has been managed by Simon Weaver since 2009. Turning from a Harrogate player into boss and staying there for well over a decade into the present day, Weaver has overseen various Town teams. One of the first teams he had under his reign was the team that finished bottom of the Conference North. Due to luck and other issues, Northwich Victoria was relegated in their place. Safe to say, Simon and Town haven’t looked back since. 

In 2016, many of the Town players went full-time, showing their dedication to the team, missing out on promotion due to an extended period of poor form. These full-time boys managed promotion in the 2017-18 season to the Conference, which then led to their promotion last year to the EFL, beating Notts County, formerly a well-established EFL team in their own right 3-1. COVID-19 could’ve curtailed this unlikely promotion from occurring, but when football did resume in the lower leagues, Weaver and his men were prepared – and through Jack Diamond – clinched their first ever promotion to the Football League, establishing themselves as a team worthy of recognition in their football-esteemed county. 

In League 2 this season, it doesn’t look like stopping, with Harrogate swapping Bromley for near neighbours Bradford and winning 1-0 at Valley Parade. 

Minnows in the grand scheme of things, but constantly working against expectation, 4th in League 2 so far. It reads as a great success of continuation, of sticking by Simon Weaver and too a story which heralds far more attention. Harrogate Town AFC: don’t write them off

Image Credit: BBC