Harrogate Town's Liam Agnew heads back to Gateshead with play-off hopes of his own
Liam Agnew will play no part in Harrogate Town’s bid for promotion to the Football League after he rejoined Gateshead on loan.
The ex-Sunderland midfielder spent 2019/20 at the International Stadium and helped the Heed qualify for the National League North play-offs.
He returned to training with parent club Harrogate on June 16 as Simon Weaver’s men began their own play-off preparations, but it has now been confirmed that Agnew has headed back up north.
“Harrogate made the decision to begin training again so I came in for the first week and was happy to try and fight for my place, which was brilliant,” the 25-year-old said.
“But, once the decision was made about play-offs taking place in National League North I thought it was right to go and try and help Gateshead
“I’ve not even played one single game for Harrogate Town this season, so to then play in a play-off game might not have been fair.
“I thought that having been one of the players who helped get Gateshead into a play-off position that I’d be given the chance to finish the job, so I’m pleased to have that opportunity.”
Agnew returns to Tyneside in good shape having benefited from some gruelling fitness work during his brief spell back training with Town.
“It was tough, to be honest,” he added.
“Everyone’s fitness levels [at Harrogate] are decent and I really had to push myself to the maximum just to keep up. Normally, in pre-season, you have a date to work towards, but we only had a few days notice before we were back in, so it was hard.
“I certainly felt some aches in my muscles after those first few sessions, but I’m feeling good now.
"The play-offs are always a lottery but I'm confident about our chances."
As for his long-term future, Agnew is unsure what lies ahead.
“I’ve got another year left on my contract at Harrogate, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.
“The only thing I’m concentrating on at the moment is the play-offs with Gateshead.
“I would love to go back to Town and fight for my place, hopefully in League Two, but for me, it’s all about getting game-time.
“I want to play. I don’t want to be sat on the bench, or in the stands, which is why this season has been so good for me at Gateshead. I’ve stayed fit all year and been involved in pretty much every game.”