HARROGATE Town gaffer Simon Weaver has signalled his intent to compete with the big boys next season by naming Chib Chilaka as his number one summer transfer target.
The classy striker became an instant fans favourite at Wetherby Road in his short loan spell with the Sulphurites.
Now Weaver is acting quickly to secure Chilaka’s signature after he was released from Bradford City earlier this week.
It’s a race the Town gaffer is desperate to win. “I will do everything possible to bring Chib to the club,” said Weaver.
“That’s all I can do. I’ve had supporters texting me this week about it. I will try my hardest to make it happen.
“He’s the most wanted man in Harrogate- for the right reasons. Everybody loved him in his time here, the young fans really took to him.
“I know he was heartbroken when he left Bradford.
“I’ve told him if he joins, stick with us and in a few years time you will be up there again.”
Weaver had a busy end to last week finalising his squad for next season.
Speaking to the Advertiser this week he revealed Mark Cook, Liam Hardy and Adam Nowakowski have signed on. The latter has been attracting the interest of Neil Aspin at FC Halifax, newly-promoted to Blue Square North.
Jake Picton is already on board with Weaver hoping Dom Roma, Wayne Phillips, Martin Foster and Richard Pell will all join him in committing.
Weaver will speak to 2010/11 top scorer Graeme Armstrong and Richard Marshall in the hope they too will stay at Town.
Danny Wright, Steven Gardener and Lee Ellington have all been asked to come down to pre-season training.
However, the boss confirmed that Craig James, Gary King and Steve Bowey have all been released.
“We want players with that hunger and fight,” continued Weaver.
“Players like Adam Nowakowski have got it. It’s going to be an exciting team.
“I’m also looking at bringing in three big signings but until everything’s sorted I don’t want to mention them in case other clubs come in for them.
“It was hard releasing Steve, Gary and Craig James, Craig in particular ,but I felt we needed a little bit more steel at the back and Pelly will give us that.”
Weaver has also announced Town’s pre-season fixtures for the 2011/12 campaign.
They travel to Tadcaster Albion on July 9 before home games against Gateshead (July 13, Middlesbrough (July 16) and Hartlepool (July 27).
Blackburn are pencilled in for a visit to the CNG on August 3 before a test against FA Trophy winners Darlington three days later.
Clashes against Spennymoor and North Ferriby are to be announced at a later date.