Promotion has to be the aim for Harrogate Town - Josh Falkingham
Promotion to the Football League has to be the aim for Harrogate Town in 2019/20, according to club captain Josh Falkingham.
The Wetherby Road outfit kick-off the new season at home to Solihull Moors on Saturday (3pm), looking to build on a sixth-placed finish last term which saw them qualify for the National League play-offs.
And while skipper Falkingham expects that he and his team-mates will face an even tougher test this time around, he is confident that Town can go one better.
“Promotion is definitely the aim, it has to be,” he said.
“We had a good season last year, and while we’re not getting carried away with it, we want to go one better.
“Our success last season brings a bit more pressure, but the gaffer has brought in some good, experienced players and I think that they’ll help us to take that extra step.
“It will be harder this year. I think the league is stronger again, it’s such a tough division and teams know a lot more about us than they did this time last year, but we are very confident.”
In order to go on and replicate or even better last term’s success, Falkingham is adamant that Town must stick to their footballing beliefs.
“I think we benefited from the fact that we were an unknown quantity at the start of last season. Every team does their homework and will know how we operate now, but we need to keep doing what has brought us success – trying to play football and score goals,” he added.
“Football is a very simple game. If you score more goals than the opposition then you win. The way that we play, we always create a lot of chances. That’s why we were top-scorers in the division last year.
“If we move away from what I consider to be our strengths, then we’ll certainly be weaker for it.
“If we change our style when teams try to stop us from playing, then we’ll be playing right into their hands.
“I fully believe that if we stick to what we’re good at then we will win more than we lose.”
Falkingham also wants Town to learn from their mistakes of the previous campaign.
“Looking back at last season I feel that there were a lot of times when we could have managed games slightly better,” he added.
“We’ve got to learn from last year. I think that there was a slight naivety about us at times.
“If I’m honest, I think that we started off fresh and new to the division playing with no fear, so we did very well.As the season went on, it did become more difficult.
“If the other team does get a foothold in the game or is on top for a spell or dominating possession, we need to be better at staying in games and not conceding goals when we are second best.
“If we can stay in games then you’ll see a lot of the narrow defeats we suffered last season turned into draws, and over the course of a season, those extra points will add up and can end up being massive.”