Mark Beck thrilled to 'be wanted' back at Harrogate Town following York City loan spell

Mark Beck says it is nice to "be wanted" by Harrogate Town and insists he is "fit and ready to go" following his return from a loan spell at York City.

By Rhys Howell
Monday, 3rd January 2022, 9:10 am
Updated Monday, 3rd January 2022, 9:14 am
Harrogate Town striker Mark Beck. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town striker Mark Beck. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The 27-year-old centre-forward is due to report back to training with the League Two Sulphurites on Monday morning having spent the last five months in National League North with the Minstermen.

He was sent to City back in July to prove his "durability" following an injury-hit couple of years at Town and has managed to do that, featuring in 23 of 25 games this term, starting 19 of them and managing 1,744 minutes of football.

Thus, with Harrogate's injury-hit and Covid-19-depleted squad in need of reinforcement, Simon Weaver has opted to bring him back to Wetherby Road.

Mark Beck in action against Carlisle United in April 2021.

"I'm pleased. It's nice to be wanted back and not to be told that I'm going out on loan again," Beck told the Harrogate Advertiser.

"I think that York were keen to extend my time there a bit longer but, as the parent club, Harrogate have the final say and they've made the decision that they want me to come back. I'm really looking forward to seeing all the lads again.

"I'm looking to hit the ground running. There's a game on Tuesday night [against Carlisle United] and I'm hoping to be in the squad. I'm ready if the gaffer needs me.

"I was preparing to be playing my last game for York on Sunday [January 2] before it was called off so I'm match fit and ready to go, I've played something like the last seven or eight games on the bounce.

"Like I say, I'm just looking forward to being back and challenging for a place."

Beck was sidelined for big chunks of 2020/21 - Town's first in the Football League - due to the recurrence of a troublesome hamstring issue which he first picked up all the way back in November 2019.

Hence, Weaver was keen to give the former Scotland youth international an opportunity to play regular minutes, build endurance and get his body used to the rigours of regular football once again.

And, having done so, Beck says he is feeling as good as he has in a long time.

"That was the aim of me going to York, to play regular football. Before I left, the gaffer said that he wanted me to prove my durability. First and foremost, I think I have done that. I've played in nearly every game," he added.

"I can't remember the last time I played more than 20 matches almost back-to-back, this is the best I've felt in a long time. My body feels good which I think must be down to the regular minutes.

"I'm quite pleased with how I did. I finished with six goals in all competitions and I feel I should have had a few more, but playing games was the big thing."

Beck returns to Town with the club 11th in the League Two standings, five points outside the play-offs and aiming to kick on during the second half of the campaign.

Watching on from afar, the targetman feels his team-mates have fared pretty well in his absence and is hopeful of being able to help them improve on their current position.

"There have been a number of very good results in what, looking from the outside in, looks a tougher League Two this season," he continued.

"There's a lot of teams all in and around the position where we are in the table, all clustered around the play-off spaces with very few points between them.

"We're in a decent position and I'm sure we can climb the table."

To date, Beck has made 87 starts and 47 substitute appearances since joining Town from Darlington in November 2017. He has netted 32 goals in that time.