Joe Leesley open-minded on Harrogate Town future despite completing Stevenage FC loan switch

Joe Leesley says that he remains open-minded regarding a potential return to Harrogate Town in the future.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 8:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 9:00 am
Joe Leesley, right, has made 134 starts for Harrogate Town since joining the club in 2016. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The 25-year-old left-winger completed a second loan move in the space of four months on Monday, joining League Two Stevenage until the end of the season, just days after returning from a spell with Stockport County.

And while the former England ‘C’ international is clearly not part of Town boss Simon Weaver’s plans in the short-term, he still has two years to run on his current deal at Wetherby Road.

“It’s not as if I've fallen out with anyone at Harrogate," Leesley said.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for the gaffer, for Paul Thirlwell [assistant manager] and Irving Weaver [chairman].

“I consider many of the players at Harrogate to be close friends and I’ve missed them a lot, the same way I’ll miss the lads who I’ve just left at Stockport.

“I’ve been at Harrogate for a while and it took some getting used to after I left. I was expecting to go back there on Monday morning, but woke up to a text about Stevenage's interest.

"Hopefully I can come here, do well and establish myself as a League Two footballer. Even if it doesn't work out for whatever reason, hopefully it makes me a better player for the future.

"I've still got two years on my contract with Harrogate, so it could be with them, maybe even in League Two the way they are going at the moment."

An ambitious character, Leesley has made no secret of his desire to prove himself in the Football League and says he is delighted to now have the opportuity to do so.

"It's a bit of a free hit for me. This move isn't something that I was expecting, but I'm very happy and very grateful to have the opportunity," the 25-year-old added.

"I've wanted this chance for a long time. I felt I could have had a move to the Football League in the past, but now it's time to stop talking about it and go and do it.

"The manager at Stevenage was really keen to bring me in. I've spoken to Graham [Westley] quite a lot in the last few days and he just wants me to stick to my strengths; put good balls into the box and try and create goals.

"It's exciting for me."