Harrogate Town ready to go 'all out' in Carabao Cup with Premier League clubs waiting in second round
The potential to face a Premier League club in the second round of the Carabao Cup gives Harrogate Town a huge incentive in their first-round tie with Tranmere Rovers, says manager Simon Weaver.
Town were drawn against the Merseryside outfit earlier this week as they prepare to compete in the competition for the first time in their history.
Harrogate will face Tranmere on September 5, with Premier League clubs - bar those in European competition - entering the tournament in round two.
“At the minute, because it is new territory for us, they are all big names,” said Weaver reflecting on this week’s draw.
“Tramere were obviously in League One last year before they went down. It is a good set-up there with a big ground and we are really looking forward to it. They are all big challenges ahead but we are looking forward to that game.
“The experiences that might lay ahead if we are successful in the first round mean we will be going all out and looking to acquit ourselves well which will give us confidence going into the league campaign.”
Harrogate returned to pre-season training this week as preparations began for their first-ever season as a Football League club.
Their campaign will begin with the cup tie against Tranmere with their League Two season due to start on September 12.
Harrogate’s fixture list is to be released on Friday at 9am and Weaver admits he feels like “a kid before Christmas” with contests against the likes of Bradford City and Oldham Athletic on the horizon.
“I was so excited when we first went up to the National League two years ago, looking at the fixtures that lay ahead with the likes of Wrexham and Chesterfield and then Notts County this year,” said Weaver.
“This year, coming into the Football League, it is unknown territory but they are all recognisable names.
“We are really looking forward to the start of the season and the challenges that lay ahead.”
Town have already been hit by their first injury concern with goalkeeper James Belshaw requiring an x-ray after he “clattered his hand against the post” at training on Monday.
Meanwhile, Harrogate have two pre-season fixtures to look forward to in the coming days. First up is Middlesbrough Under-23s on Friday afternoon (4pm) before a trip to non-league outfit Brighouse Town on Tuesday evening.
Weaver added: “The aim is to get everyone towards that peak fitness for September 5 and the start of our season.”