Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver weighs up move for an additional forward

A team is only ever as good as its strikers.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 7:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 8:16 am
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Harrogate Town currently sit second in the National League standings, so if that footballing cliche is accurate, then theirs must be doing something right.

Simon Weaver does however have just three recognised centre-forwards with more than 45 minutes experience of senior football currently at his disposal.

With targetman Mark Beck sidelined by a hamstring problem and Sam Jones seemingly out of contention at present, 17-year-old Huddersfield Town loanee Kian Harratt is providing the cover for top-scorer Jack Muldoon and veteran Jon Stead.

But with Harratt scheduled to head back to his parent club on February 13 and Beck still some way off a return to action, Town are light on numbers in the forwards positions.

They're also currently lacking in cutting edge, according to Weaver, who attributed Saturday's disappointing draw with Aldershot to a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.

Taking all of the above into consideration, it should come as no great surprise that the Harrogate boss is looking to bolster his striking options.

"We are looking around, we have been for quite a while, to be honest," Weaver revealed.

"We are a bit thin on the ground in the centre-forward and centre-back positions, and it would only take one injury or suspension to leave us without too many options in those areas.

"We've been close to an agreement with a couple [of forwards] but we've lost out to Football League clubs.

"We do have good individuals and we can't get irrational because of one game where we weren't ruthless enough, but we did miss some gilt-edged chances at Aldershot.

"You'd probably have to say that the difference between us and Barrow (currently six points clear at the top of the table) is Scott Quigley (18 goals) and John Rooney (16 goals). They're doing it week in, week out, so it's something we are looking at."

The January transfer window may have closed last week, but Town do still have plenty of avenues to explore when it comes to recruitment.

Premier League clubs cannot to do any further business, and while sides in the Championship, League One and League Two are also unable to add to their squads, they are permitted to loan players out.

Thus, there still is a possibility of Weaver making temporary additions of Football League quaility, or moving for targets within the National League or further down the pyramid.

Free agents are also still an option.

"Now that the transfer window has shut, we've actually got a better chance of getting something done," Weaver added.

"Championship, League One and League Two clubs can loan downwards, and with us currently being second in the National League, we're in almost the best possible position to be able to attract players who still want or need a move at this stage.

"We can also look at players in the teams in our league or the leagues below, but my issue there is you might have to spend £20k or £50k to sign a striker.

"We only want to do that if we're bringing in someone who is an improvement on what we already have, not a player who'll be sat on the bench.

"Free agents are another option, however you need to find the right animal. The pond you are fishing in there isn't as big as a lot of people probably think.

"We still have the rest of this month to get something sorted, so there is plenty of time."