Opportunity to take young Birmingham City hot-shot on loan too tempting for Harrogate Town to turn down

Having said previously that it would take a "stand-out player" to become available to tempt him into any further business this month, Simon Weaver has moved to add to his Harrogate Town squad.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 6:53 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2021, 6:54 pm
Josh Andrews in FA Youth Cup action for Birmingham City under-18s. Picture: Getty Images

Birmingham City striker Josh Andrews became the Sulphurites' seventh signing of the January window when he agreed a loan switch on transfer deadline day.

The 19-year-old centre-forward has been in fine form for the Blues' under-23s this term, scoring nine goals and chipping in with four assists.

And, having watched him bag a brace in a 5-1 demolition of Sheffield Wednesday's development side last Friday, the Harrogate chief felt that the opportunity to bring Andrews to Wetherby Road on a deal until the end of the season was one that he could not pass up.

Josh Andrews will wear the number 31 shirt at Harrogate Town.

"I think it probably was too good an opportunity to turn down," he told the Harrogate Advertiser.

"We've been in contact with Chris Curtis at Birmingham about Mitch Roberts [already on loan at Town] and he has kept us informed about a few of the other lads there, including Josh.

"We knew about him, and the goals he has been scoring for the under-23s, so we've taken a closer look at some video footage.

"He scored a couple against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday and we liked what we saw.

“It’s his first loan which means it’s not about starting every game but adapting to the culture and learning. When Birmingham told me he’s the type of lad that’s willing to learn, it became

a no-brainer for us.”

Standing at 6ft 3 tall, Andrews is very much a target man, and will provide Town with genuine physical presence at the top end of the field.

Though they have developed something of a reputation over the last few years for playing high-tempo passing football, the Sulphurites are certainly not averse to adopting a more direct approach when they need to.

Indeed, Weaver's preferred system has always tended to include a big centre-forward with a quicker man off him. And, given that Mark Beck and Jon Stead are both currently nursing injuries, Andrews will offer immediate competition for Aaron Martin.

"I think we look at our best when we have a balanced team and enough size down the core of the side. As a unit, we don't want to be too small," Weaver added.

"We like to play with two up front and have both power and pace up there. We operate best with a big man and quick man up front. This is a great opportunity to bring in a young lad who has a lot of promise.

"Josh is a good, young centre-forward. He's a very big lad and powerful, but with a good touch.

"He's been banging them in for fun for Birmingham's under-23s and clearly knows where the back of the net is. If he gets himself between the posts then he's going to be a real handful.

"He trained with us this morning [Monday] and made an impression straight away."