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From The Gaffer



The EFL have a rule which clearly states that L2 will accept 2 teams from the National League. The team who finish top and the team who EITHER  win the play-offs OR  finish second will be promoted. After the season was curtailed and the overwhelming vote from the NL member clubs was to not have the play-offs then with us being in second place you would think that we are well placed to be promoted. It was also very encouraging to discover the tripartite agreement between the Premier League, EFL and FA will be upheld and that the FA would “veto any attempts” to make any changes to promotions and relegations. 

The club is ready to be promoted having worked hard over time to strategically implement all ground improvements to reach EFL criteria. Importantly, we feel the mindset both on and off the pitch is ready to take the next step. 


It’s been a trying time for everyone, not just people involved in football. However, the players were given training programmes and we have had 100% faith that they were sticking to them. Recently, as a back room staff we felt they needed a couple of weeks of easing off the physical workload. With our group it’s not ever a case of being concerned about a lack of motivation because we’ve got driven characters who always want to improve themselves. 

As a back room team we have been in constant contact and this has been related to the season end, reflecting on the team’s performance over the season and moving forward as a squad. 

We’ve also had a Zoom quiz night with Paul Thirlwell as the quizmaster. The two Phil’s, Lee and Priestly struggled a bit but it was great fun!

My two kids have been at home and the home schooling has certainly tested us In the break times, of which there are many (!) The promotion topic has been constantly on my mind as you’d expect and therefore I’ve been reading as much as possible on the rules, opinions and viewpoints.

I’ve spoke at length to good people in the game about how their clubs are run higher up the pyramid and what we can potentially implement here in our next chapter at the club. I’ve also been on a couple of webinars and listened to people from different sports. There are some really good people out there that we can perhaps steal ideas from! Some of the books I’ve read or podcasts I’ve listened to has also reinforced the fact  that in terms of culture and spirit I think Harrogate Town AFC is really heading in the right direction.

When we do return to action I’m convinced there will be a bounce effect and we will see a team even more full of energy and desire to do well.