Josh Falkingham still driven to achieve more with Harrogate Town after agreeing contract extension
The 32-year-old former Leeds United midfielder, who has captained the Sulphurites to two promotions and two Wembley triumphs since joining the club in 2017, this week put pen to paper on a new deal at Wetherby Road.
That two-and-a-half year contract extension will keep Falkingham at League Two Town until the summer of 2025 and, he believes, afford him sufficient time to go on and add to his footballing CV.
"There’s been a burning desire for success within me ever since I joined this club,” he told the Harrogate Advertiser.
"I do believe that I still have a lot to give and I will keep doing everything in my power to make sure that I am giving my very best for this football club until I physically can’t anymore.
"There is more to come from me, that’s the belief that I have. I’ve won promotions since I have been here, we have taken this club into the Football League and those experiences, the way that they make you feel as a player, I can’t even put it into words.
"I’ve had some special moments, some special feelings since I came here and you want more. I want to experience those feelings again, it is one of the things that drives you on, and I am determined that I enjoy some more moments here at Harrogate in the coming years.
"We have made so much progress in my time here, and that’s the aim, to keep moving forwards and keep improving. I’m massively driven to do that and I’m confident that I can play my part.”
Given the intensity and desire with which Falkingham approaches every game he plays, it is no surprise to hear him talk about being driven to want more.
But there are a couple of other factors at play, one of which is the closeness of his bond with a club he has now represented for more than five-and-a-half years.
“This club is embedded in me, and my family. Harrogate Town means a hell of a lot to me and has become a huge part of my life,” he added.
“Every time I go out on the pitch, every time I captain this team, I am massively proud to do so and it’s not something I wanted to have to let go of any time soon.
"And it’s not just about me, I’m not a young lad on my own any more going where my career took me. I’ve got a family to consider and they’re happy too. Everything has always just felt really good for all of us since I’ve been here.”
Another key motivating factor for Falkingham stems from disappointment suffered earlier in his playing career.
"Like I say, there’s nowhere else I would rather be, but as a footballer, it’s not all down to you, it depends on whether or not the manager is happy with you,” the wily midfielder continued.
"If you’re not playing well enough, if you’re not doing your job, it doesn’t matter how long you have been at a club for and how much you have achieved in the past. Football is a brutal game and you can end up on your way.
"I could never see myself playing anywhere else, but that’s easier said than done. What I have here can easily be taken away from me. That kind of thing has happened to me previously in my career.
"I was at Dunfermline up in Scotland for four years and it felt like home up there even though it’s a long way away. I felt like my contract should have been renewed there at that time, but it wasn’t.
"So you can never take anything for granted. You can never stop working and trying to get better and giving 100 percent. And I am driven by that, driven to make sure I am doing the business on the pitch and performing for the team.”
Falkingham, who is now closing in on 250 competitive appearances in Town colours, joined the Sulphurites from Darlington in May 2017 following spells north of the border with St Johnstone, Arbroath and Dunfermline.
He led Harrogate to promotion via the play-offs from National League North at the end of his first season in North Yorkshire, then repeated the trick two years later as Town Notts dispatched Notts County at Wembley to secure their place in League Two.
The former Leeds trainee then netted the only goal of the game to seal a 1-0 win over Concord Rangers in the 2020 FA Trophy final.