Josh March determined to prove himself as the 'main man' at Harrogate Town
The 26-year-old centre-forward rejoined the Sulphurites from Stevenage during the final hours of the summer window for an undisclosed fee, putting pen to paper on a two-year contract.
Scorer of five goals in 10 starts during a spell on loan from Forest Green Rovers back in 2021, March was signed as Luke Armstrong’s replacement after Town agreed to sell last season’s leading marksman to Wrexham, only for that move to subsequently fall through.
March says he would relish the opportunity to play alongside Armstrong, but having been in and out of the starting XI at both Stevenage and Forest Green, he is determined to show that he has what it takes in a front-line striking role at Wetherby Road.
“I had a successful loan spell here and loved my time at the club, so I’m looking to do the same again, but over a longer period of time,” he told the Harrogate Advertiser.
"I would like to think that I have improved all aspects of my game since I was last here and that I'm a better player now than I was then.
"I’d say that I’m still the same kind of player, I’ll work hard and give 110 percent every time I step on the pitch, but I have shown I can score goals in League One and that definitely gives me a lot of confidence that I can do well for Harrogate at League Two level and help the club kick on.
"Every player wants to play all the time, however it sometimes doesn’t work out like that. But one of the main reasons I wanted to come back here was to prove that I can be the main man, play week in, week out, score goals and help the team.
"You’re told that you should go and play where you’re wanted and I feel like Harrogate really wanted me, which is great to know as a footballer.”
On the possibility of lining up alongside Armstrong, and how Town get the very best out of him, March added: “Luke is a quality player, I am sure that we could do well for the team together.
"That targetman-type player is probably who I work best with, but I’ve played plenty of games up front on my own, so I am equally comfortable in that role.
"To be honest, as long as I am playing football, I’m happy to do whatever the gaffer needs.”
Having seen his Harrogate loan curtailed prematurely in March 2021 due to a knee injury, a fit-again March scored six times in 40 matches (11 starts) to help Forest Green to promotion to League One in 2021/22, then registered another half-a-dozen goals in 33 games (22 starts) the following year.
January 2023 saw him drop back down to League Two with Stevenage, where he again achieved promotion, bagging twice in nine outings (five starts) before suffering an injury which ruled him out of the latter stages of the season.
He only signed a new deal with Boro in May and played four times in League One this term as well as scoring in a League Cup win over Championship Watford. Thus, he was not expecting to be going anywhere this summer - until Simon Weaver came calling.
"Knowing the club and the manager and having enjoyed my time here previously was a massive factor in this transfer,” he explained.
"When the interest comes so late in the day, without knowing the club, I probably wouldn’t have gone. I wasn’t really expecting an approach from anyone, I don’t think I’d have said ‘yes’ to any other club under the circumstances.
“I was just worrying about getting myself fit again and looking forward to playing for Stevenage. But because I know the set-up here, it was quite an easy decision. I was buzzing to find out Harrogate were interested and relieved that they knew I was carrying a minor injury and still wanted me.
"Because of how my first spell here went, I’d always felt like it was a place I would like to come back to at some point. So like I say, my mind was made up quickly and now I just can’t wait to get back out on the pitch.”
March is expected to return to action in the next fortnight having had fluid drained from an inflamed knee shortly before re-signing for Town on September 1.