HARROGATE Town have sent a warning shot to the rest of the Blue Square North League after announcing plans to go full-time next season.
The bold move is just another piece in the jigsaw for new chairman Irving Weaver as he looks to take the club forward.
First team manager, Simon Weaver, is delighted with the news and feels it is necessary in order to compete with the big boys.
“It’s fantastic,” he said.
“We will have a nucleus of younger players but I think it’s important to say there will be experienced players too, we don’t want to close the door on them.
“The budget won’t be any bigger. We won’t be bringing in full-time players from around the country on a lot of money.
“It just means we can have a pool of players together and their full-time job will be football.”
Weaver Senior has addressed the fans via a message on the club website putting forward his vision for the future.
Mr Weaver said the club has the support from the FA to level the pitch in the close season.
Work will also see the club shop refurbished to provide an office for administration work and advanced ticket sales which is currently subject to planning permission.
There are also plans to update the Wetherby Road terrace which would include a cantilevered roof extending to the pitch line.
Other initiatives are the refurbishment of the sponsors’ lounge, which the club feels is essential to increase corporate support, and the continual upgrade of the Social Club.
“There are some exciting times ahead,” said boss Weaver.
“The levelling of the pitch will be a big thing. “We want that at Wetherby Road too.”
On the pitch Town are chasing their third victory on the spin tomorrow at Solihull Moors in the league.
On Saturday they beat Worcester City 1-0 in the FA Trophy to set-up a trip to Barrow AFC in eight days’ time.
Town are back in home action on Tuesday night when Colwyn Bay make the long trek north.
Speaking to the Advertiser this week, Town assistant boss John McDermott is looking forward to the test.
“The lads are buoyant, confidence is high and we want to make it three wins in a row,” he said.
“Solihull are a good passing side, it won’t be easy but we proved we can go away and win last week, we’ve just got to do it again.
“Colwyn, not a lot of teams know much about them. They have had a pretty decent start to the season but it’s a home game and we want to make Wetherby Road into a bit of a fortress.
“We need to build some confidence with the next round of the FA Trophy coming up the week after and hopefully we can take some fans out there.”
On Saturday Town returned to the West Country in better shape, squad wise, then their recent league trip which they lost 2-1.
Weaver’s men started brightly and took the lead when Paul Brayson bundled the ball home after a threatening Craig Radcliffe corner.
Town went into the break in front, thanks to a superb save by ‘keeper Mark Cook. It wasn’t to be his last action in the match.
With Worcester pushing for the equaliser Cook pulled off a smart point-blank save to secure the victory in the second half.
Town were due to take on Wakefield in the next round of the County Cup on Tuesday but due to the West Yorkshire club’s dire financial situation the game was cancelled. Wakefield have dropped out of the competition and Town have been giving a bye through to the next round.
They will travel to the winners of Albion Sports or Ossett Town in the next round.