Harrogate Town striker Aaron Martin aiming for League One after extending contract
Late-bloomer Aaron Martin has ticked a lot of things off his personal bucketlist in the past 12 months but the next is to play League One football with Harrogate Town, and he thinks the Sulphurites can give him a chance by reaching this season's play-offs.
The 29-year-old joined last March, but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed his debut until the Conference play-offs, which Harrogate won to take him into the Football League for the first time.
His progress since has now been rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
“It seems like such a long time ago that I signed, so much has gone on since,” said the Sheffield-born former Brighouse Town and Guiseley striker.
“I’ve played at Wembley [in the National League play-off final, his second game for Harrogate], which was a massive experience for me and everyone involved, we got promoted to the Football League, I’ve made my first appearance, scored my first goal in the league [in the same game, at Southend United], played in the EFL Cup and the FA Cup.
"All those things have made it such a memorable first season. It’s just a pity that we haven’t had the fans with us to celebrate it.
“I’m really happy to sign an extension and stay in the Football League and stay with Harrogate who are a great club. Hopefully, I’ll be here for some time.”
Martin has scored six goals in 41 appearances in all competitions this season, guiding the North Yorkshire club to 12th in League Two, eight points outside the play-off places.
He hopes before his new contract is out to take them higher still.
“I’d like to think in the next two years we’ve got a real chance of making it to League One and push towards the play-offs,” he said.
“I think we’re doing really well as a team. I mentioned to the gaffer [Simon Weaver] not so long ago that we’ve come out of the depths after some thought we were going to sneak into that relegation zone as we were hovering above it for a little bit, but we’ve pulled together, had some really good results and we’re not far off the play-offs and that’s the aim.”