Monday night's WRCC Semi-Final against Guiseley will be remembered as a landmark fixture for the club, with Josh Hardcastle becoming the first U19s player to start a first team fixture.
Our U19s side is made up of players who are enrolled on our education programme, mixing a BTEC qualification with the chance to train with UEFA Qualified coaches and compete in the National League Youth Alliance.
The 2019/20 season has seen significant development of the programme, with an exciting partnership with VLUK recently announced and encouraging performances on the pitch.
We spoke to Hardcastle after a night he will never forget!
How long have you been playing for Town and at what age did you join the club?
This is my second year, after joining when I was 15.
How would you describe yourself as a player?
I am a fit, hard working, skilful right back, who reads the game well and always gives 100% effort.
Strengths of your game?
My strengths are reading the game well, defending, accuracy of passing and my ability to be composed on the ball.
Areas of your game you would like to improve on?
Getting forward more to support the team when attacking.
How do you think your game has developed since being at Town?
I have received quality coaching which has improved areas of my game significantly and given me more confidence.
Biggest influence in your football progression so far and why?
I have been supported by my parents to achieve my ambitions in the game so I would say them. Both Josh Walsh and Phil Priestley have helped me progress too by being encouraging and enthusiastic which has helped me gain confidence and improve.
Favourite Memory in a Town shirt?
Selected and played the full game for the first team against Guiseley in the West Riding County Cup semi-final. This was an amazing experience I will never forget!
What are you hoping to achieve by playing in the U19s side this season?
I want to continue to progress as a footballer, hopefully winning as many games as we can as a team for the rest of the season.
What are your long-term ambitions, football wise and outside of football?
To play at the highest level possible whilst continuing with studies to acquire a career in sport.
What is the best thing about being involved with Harrogate Town?
It's the quality coaching and knowing the club is on the rise.
More information about our Education programme can be found by clicking here