Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver and assistant Paul Thirlwell sign new deals

Irving Weaver is hopeful that manager Simon Weaver and his assistant Paul Thirlwell can "continue their good work" at Harrogate Town having handed the pair new three-year contracts.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 3:55 pm
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 3:59 pm
Paul Thirlwell, left, and Simon Weaver at Harrogate Town's training ground.

The duo oversaw two promotions in the space of three seasons between 2018 and 2020, led the Sulphurites to the Football League (EFL) for the first time in their history and also masterminded an FA Trophy win at Wembley earlier this summer.

Unsurprisingly given their track record as a partnership, Town's chairman has moved to tie his son and his number two down for the long term as the club looks to establish itself in League Two.

“I am thrilled to be able to share the news that both Simon and Paul will continue to drive the club forward over the next three years," Irving Weaver said.

Harrogate Town chairman Irving Weaver. Picture: Matt Kirkham

“The aim is to continue the good work that has been done and extending the contract of both Simon and Paul is an important step to achieving those ambitions.

“We are determined to establish ourselves as an EFL club and build on a successful first season at this level.”

Simon Weaver and Thirlwell have worked together since the latter's appointment to the role of assistant boss in January 2017, earning promotion from National League North to the National League at the end of their first full season as a duo.

Another promotion followed two years later as the Wetherby Road outfit's maiden Wembley appearance saw them beat Notts County to secure entry into into the EFL for the first time in 106 years of existence.

Their debut League Two campaign ended with the Sulphurites a very respectable 17th placed in the table, with Simon Weaver - the longest-serving manager in English professional footballer - excited to have the opportunity to build on that effort in years to come.

“This club has been a massive part of my life for for 12 years, so to take it to 15 is fantastic for me personally," he said.

“I’m excited about the challenge ahead and have as much appetite for it now as I did 12 years ago.

“Paul and I are very close, he definitely alleviates pressure on my job with what he brings to the table, he’s a good presence, has a great personality and sense of humour, but overall he is a really good person, which is important to me.”

Former Sunderland and Sheffield United midfielder Thirlwell initially joined Harrogate as a player back in 2015, before taking on the job of managing the club's under-23s, then stepping up into the assistant manager role.

“Joining the club at 36 I wanted to be somewhere with a coaching opportunity, thankfully that came here and I’m thankful to the manager and the chairman for giving me the opportunity.” Thirlwell explained.

“I’m delighted to be staying here, it’s been a really good six years going from player to the youth set up to assistant manager and I’ve loved every minute.

“The gaffer and I are good friends off the pitch, our thoughts on the game are very much the same, but at times we are different characters and I think that brings the best out of each other. Hopefully long may that continue.”