Harrogate Railway's bid to beat the drop boosted by return of experienced striker

Harrogate Railway’s bid to beat the drop has been handed a huge boost after striker Steve Bromley rejoined the club .

By Rhys Howell
Friday, 28th February 2020, 9:41 pm
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 9:44 pm
Steve Bromley has re-joined Harrogate Railway from local rivals Knaresborough Town. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Steve Bromley has re-joined Harrogate Railway from local rivals Knaresborough Town. Picture: Caught Light Photography

The Starbeck outfit currently sit second-from-bottom of the NCEL Division One standings, 10 points adrift of safety, and staring the possibility of back-to-back relegations in the face.

The appointment of former Darlington coach Mick O’Connell as manager has however brought some hope of salvation, and his capture of experienced forward Bromley provides a much-needed injection of quality and know-how in the attacking third.

And, the 37-year-old is backing himself to help lead the Rail out of the relegation places.

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“I’m really happy to be going back to a club that holds a place in my heart and I do believe that we can stay up,” Bromley said.

“I know that it doesn’t look good at all on paper, but I’ve been in a similar position with Railway before and, to me, it’s still doable.

“Hopefully, me coming back might help push us on and I can contribute a few extra goals that can turn some of the narrow defeats that the team have suffered into draws, and then draws into wins.

“I’d certainly like to think that I can still do it in this division. I’m confident. I spent four years here previously so I know where the goal is.

“It’s not just about scoring goals, though. Making them is just as important, so I’ll be aiming to try and set a few up, as well as hopefully using my experience to guide the younger lads.”

Bromley returns to Railway from local rivals Knaresborough Town, the club he left Station View to join in the summer of 2017.

That season, he managed double-figures as Boro won the NCEL Division One title and also scored the goals that secured promotion and then saw them confirmed as champions.

And, while he played fairly regularly in the Premier Division during 2018/19, Bromley has had less opportunities at Manse Lane this term, hence his decision to make the switch to Station View.

“I’ve not had as much game-time as I would have liked this season and, at this stage of my career, I want to be playing as much football as I can,” he added.

“This might end up being my last season at semi-professional level, and coming back here to a club I’ve played for in the past where I know a lot of the people involved just made sense.

“Knaresborough are safe. They’ve got no worries this season and hopefully I can make a difference here.

“Obviously I’ve spoken to Mick O’Connell, the manager, and he seems like a good guy , so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Although keen to make the move back to Railway, Bromley said that the decision to leave Boro wasn’t an easy one.

“I loved my time at Knaresborough,” he said.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to the gaffer, Paul Stansfield, for supporting me in my decision to leave, to Paul Clayton, Ellie Telfer [club physio] and all the fans.”

Railway travel to Retford in Divison One on Saturday, while top-flight Knaresborough are on the road at Eccleshill United. Both games kick-off at 3pm.