Harrogate Railway have added to their ranks a week into the Evo-Stik League season with the signing-on of Harrogate Town midfielder Sam Jones.
The 18-year-old former Doncaster Rovers product has enjoyed an impressive pre-season at the CNG Stadium, but will temporarily join the set-up at Stadium View to make sure he gets enough games.
He’s likely to feature in Saturday’s visit to Cammell Laird before Railway welcome Wakefield Town on Bank Holiday Monday (both 3pm).
Jones joins fellow Town players, striker Paul Beesley and impressive young goalkeeper Peter Crook, in Billy Miller’s plans as the clubs continue to enjoy a working relationship.
Beesley and Crook both featured in the opening First Division North game of the season, Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Salford City.
Miller was away for the encounter, where an 81st minute goal by Wes Bancroft sealed all three points for Salford.
Former Town names Rob Youhill and Craig Radcliffe, signed before the season, bolstered Railway’s threat in a game where assistant boss Lee Ashforth felt they were unlucky not to collect a point.
“Peter (Crook) came in before the game and he was a massive bonus,” said Ashforth.
“He and Paul Beesley were both fantastic. The link with Town is really important for us.
“Some of their players need games, and we benefit by having several players who are probably too good for this league playing for us.
“I thought Rob Youhill was particularly frightening in the first half. When he’s had a few more games he will be a serious threat.
“It was a shame we didn’t get something from the game, I felt we deserved it. But we’ll play 60 games this season and that’s one game down.”
Railway were away at new boys Padiham on Wednesday, Nathan Cartman’s equaliser securing a point from the 1-1 draw. But they face a sterner challenge away at Camell Laird on Saturday.
Laird reached the play-offs last season and Ashforth is ready for a difficult encounter.
“Cammell Laird lost in the play-offs last year and I don’t expect them to be anything other than a hard prospect this year,” he said.
“Like all Liverpool sides, they will be difficult to get past.
“Wakefield on Monday is a more local one.
“They struggled down near the bottom like us last year. But we’ve got good links with their coach Rob Lyons and we know he’s brought in a few people they will be stronger this year.
“Like Billy said last week, we just want to make Station View a fortress and pick up as many points as we can.”
Meantime, midfielder Paddy McGuire has left Station View after deciding to seek a club closer to home.
Ashworth said: “The travelling was getting a bit much for him so he wants to find somewhere closer to where he lives. He goes with our best wishes.”