Maxim Kouogun 'really unfortunate' not to get new deal at Harrogate Town
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver says that the timing of the coronavirus outbreak did Maxim Kouogun no favours, after the centre-half was released by the club.
The 23-year-old Cameroonian arrived at Wetherby Road in early February following a spell in the League of Ireland Premier Division with Waterford.
Kouogun impressed during his three appearances for the North Yorkshire outfit, but was one of a trio of defenders released by Weaver last week.
“Max is really unfortunate. He’s had his opportunity to really show us what he can do taken away by coronavirus,” the Town boss said.
“Connor Hall was injured when the season was suspended and Max was in the team. He’d have kept his place and had the chance to get a run of matches under his belt and really stake a claim.
“He did well in the games he played and worked hard in training. We like him a lot.
“The issue was that Max was only on a short-term contract and if we wanted to extend it then we had to do it now, but we’re in a difficult position when it comes to committing to anything when we still have absolutely no idea when we will even be able to play again.”
Given the positive impression that Kouogun made at Wetherby Road, Weaver revealed that he wouldn’t rule out taking another look at the powerful defender in the future.
“It’s a possibility, but I wouldn’t want to make any false promises. It wouldn’t be fair on the lad,” he added.
“Once things get back to normal, we’ll be looking at the options out there. We want another defender, but we’ll have to see who is available.
“You don’t know how the market will look once football resumes. If Max is the best option out there for us, then we’ll look at the situation again.”
Ex-Barnsley and Chesterfield left-back George Smith and former Oxford United youngster Matt Taylor were the other Town players not to be offered new deals.
On Smith, Weaver added: “George started well here. He had a terrific game away at Barrow and the first time we won at Halifax. When he’s on it, he’s a brilliant left-back, but he didn’t quite nail down the position.
“Warren [Burrell] came in, was performing and we took off as a team. That’s why I stuck with him over George. It’s just about a manager’s opinion.”