Kyle Ferguson - Who is Harrogate Town's newest recruit?

"I love being a defender. I love making tackles."

By Rhys Howell
Monday, 13th June 2022, 8:33 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 8:35 pm
Harrogate Town centre-half Kyle Ferguson. Pictures: Harrogate Town AFC
Harrogate Town centre-half Kyle Ferguson. Pictures: Harrogate Town AFC

Having finished 2021/22 with the joint-second-worst defensive record in League Two, this kind of footballing outlook is exactly what Harrogate Town need.

And in new recruit Kyle Ferguson, a 6ft 5" powerhouse of a centre-half, they have landed an emerging talent who possesses all the attributes required to help shore up their leaky back-line.

On far too many occasions last term, the Sulphurites looked a soft touch in and around their own box and were seriously lacking when it came to the defensive edge required to deal with balls into dangerous areas.

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Town boss Simon Weaver with new signing Kyle Ferguson at the EnviroVent Stadium.

Ferguson, however, insists that he thrives off attacking the ball and putting his body on the line - qualities he displayed consistently during his brief spell in the National League with Altrincham last term.

"The National League is a really physical league but I enjoy that, I like that type of football," said the former Glasgow Rangers junior during an interview with Alty TV.

"I'm a strong centre-half, I like the aggressive side of the game, I like going for headers and tackles. I'm a good organiser and like speaking on the pitch.

"I love being a defender. People love scoring goals, I don't, I love making tackles, making blocks and I think that's hard to find these days."

Ferguson is the son of former Rangers and Scotland midfielder Barry Ferguson and cousin of Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson, a current Scottish international.

Thus, the game is very much in his blood.

"Basically from a young kid, my life has been about football, it's all I've ever known. Football has been my full life," he added.

"I started as soon as I could walk. The first team I joined was when I was four. I joined a local team and played in lots of tournaments and got picked up when I was seven or eight by Rangers.

"I was at Rangers until the age of 14. I got released, which was hard because I'm a huge fan. I kept playing with teams like Kilmarnock, Airdrie and Clyde as well up until I was 16 then I moved to America for two-and-a-half years for a scholarship, then came back to Europe to try and make a career."

His next destination was Ytterhogdal in Sweden, from where he moved to League of Ireland side Waterford.

"During the pandemic, Sweden was one of the countries that were still playing. I knew a manager out there and he said I could go and play for half the season and it was good for me because I was still progressing while maybe other people weren't playing," he explained.

"At the end of that season I moved to Ireland with Waterford FC. I went from the end of the Swedish season into the start of the Irish one. I really enjoyed my time in Waterford, it's a lovely place and I made a lot of friends, but we maybe didn't achieve the things we wanted to.

"But it was kind of a good break-in season for me because I played a lot of games and matured a lot as a player and I got to see the side of the game playing men's football that you don't see playing youth football.

"I played really well but the results just didn't fall. I feel like we were hard done by, but that's football, you need to take that and it's an experience.

"That was me learning in a team that's not always winning, which is important as well because when you come through with Rangers and are winning every game it's brilliant, but when you play with a team that maybe aren't winning every game you appreciate it more."

Having impressed at Waterford, Ferguson earned the move to England that he had been aiming for, joining National League Altrincham in February this year.

He went on to make nine appearances for the Moss Lane outfit, finishing the campaign with an 87 per cent success rate in aerial duels, the highest in the division.

"It was always an intention of mine to come to England and try and make a career for myself. That was one thing that I spoke to my dad about. I definitely wanted to come to England over Scotland," he said.

"I always had the goal in mind of wanting to go to England and it was just about being patient and waiting for the right opportunity to come up.

"I spent four or five days with Torquay, but to be honest it was just too far away, eight hours drive from Glasgow. It was a good set-up but it just wasn't for me. I came and trained at Altrincham and really enjoyed my time."

Ferguson becomes Harrogate's second signing of the summer, following goalkeeper Pete Jameson into Wetherby Road.

He has been handed the number 24 shirt and will be in contention to make his Town debut against Sheffield Wednesday in a pre-season friendly scheduled to take place on July 8.