Pete Jameson insists the time is right for him to make the step up to the Football League with Harrogate Town

Pete Jameson has revealed that there were plenty of other clubs who wanted to sign him this summer, but insists that the decision he took to join Harrogate Town ended up being a particularly straightforward one.

By Rhys Howell
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 7:20 am
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver, left, welcomes Pete Jameson to Wetherby Road. Pictures: Harrogate Town AFC
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver, left, welcomes Pete Jameson to Wetherby Road. Pictures: Harrogate Town AFC

Having made 56 appearances for York City during 2021/22 as he helped the Minstermen to promotion from National League North, a host of Football League and National League sides were courting the 29-year-old stopper prior to him putting pen to paper at Wetherby Road.

The former Darlington man was however sold on the Sulphurites immediately after meeting new boss Simon Weaver to discuss a potential move.

“There were offers from other Football League clubs and teams in the National League. I’d known about the interest since January, February time and Harrogate weren’t actually one of the sides who initially showed an interest,” Jameson told the Harrogate Advertiser.

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Pete Jameson signs on the dotted line at Wetherby Road.

“Playing in the EFL has been my ambition for a long time, so that was a big factor in me deciding to come here, but my best friend [Mark Beck] has been here for five years, so I’ve been to quite a lot of Harrogate games and always followed the club’s progress.

“I sort of knew a fair bit about the club already and what they are about, which obviously had an impact on my decision, however as soon as I met the gaffer, Paul Thirlwell and the chairman I realised straight away that this was the right place for me.

“I got good vibes straight away, a very warm and welcoming feeling and it was really good to hear how much they wanted me, that was big for me. The manager didn’t really have to sell it to me.

“Another big factor was how ambitious this club is. They’ve achieved a lot in the last few years and want to keep on progressing. I am very ambitious too and determined to be the best I can be.”

Sunderland-born Jameson’s previous clubs include the aforementioned Darlington and York, while he has also turned out for Blyth Spartans, South Shields and Sunderland RCA. And although 2022/23 will see him handed his first taste of football at a level higher than the sixth tier, he says he is not fazed by the prospect of jumping up two divisions.

“All I’ve really known is National League North, so this is going to be a big step up for me, and I know that it will be a real challenge, but I am excited by that,” he added.

“If I was an outfield player, I think that making the jump in standard would be quite tough because those lads you’re going to be up against are going to be fitter, stronger and quicker.

“But, as a goalkeeper, your job doesn’t really change, regardless of the level. I’ve spoken to a lot of people about making this step-up, other goalkeepers, goalkeeper coaches and they’ve all said that to me.

“At the end of the day, my job is to keep the ball out of the back of my net. Yes, I will be up against a better quality of attacker and I’m sure they’ll be more clinical with their chances, more composed in front of goal, have more finesse and not be as rash when they get the opportunity to shoot.

“And I’m sure the game will be quicker in League Two and things will happen faster, but I’ll be working hard in training and making sure I am in the best condition I can be and, like I say, I am really excited by the challenge in front of me.”

Highly-rated Jameson is described by those who know him best as a complete goalkeeper, one who possesses all the attributes required to go on and enjoy a successful career in the Football League.

Town’s modest new stopper didn’t want to spend too long blowing his own trumpet when asked what he feels his strengths are, though he did go on to reiterate the fact that he is certain that the time is right for him to make the step up to League Two.

“I always find it an awkward question when people ask me what my strengths are, because I don’t want to come across as a big-time Charlie,” he continued.

“I’d probably find it easier to talk about where my weaknesses lie, but I suppose I would have to say my shot-stopping, one-on-one situations and commanding my box are some of the things I do quite well.

“What I will say is that this is definitely the right time for me. At my age, as a goalkeeper I am heading into my peak years.

“I’ve played something like 300 games pretty much consecutively over the last six seasons and I know that I am ready now. I’m ready to try and take my chance at Football League level.”

Town striker Beck, who is leaving Wetherby Road this summer following five seasons and two promotions, revealed recently that he had recommended Jameson to boss Weaver on a number of occasions in the past, thus Harrogate’s first signing of the summer says he owes his best pal a debt of gratitude.

“I found out that Mark had spoken highly of me to the manager here and that’s obviously helped me out as it will probably have prompted them to come and watch me, so I have to say a big ‘thank you’ to him for that,” he added.

“Mark is definitely a factor in me making this move. From what he’s told me and what I’ve seen myself when I came to watch him, it kind of sold the club to me and I just cannot wait to get going now.

“I want to help the club achieve more success.”