Simon Weaver happy with Harrogate Town's defensive options despite loss of Callum Howe

Young centre-half Will Smith has impressed Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver during pre-season. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Young centre-half Will Smith has impressed Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver during pre-season. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver believes that there is adequate cover in his squad to compensate for the loss of central defender Callum Howe.

The 25-year-old ex-Lincoln City man, who was a mainstay of Weaver's side last term, playing 46 games and scoring nine goals, joined Solihull Moors on Friday for an undisclosed club-record fee.

And while Weaver revealed that he is on the look-out for an additional defensive option, he is backing summer signings Connor Hall and Will Smith and the versatile Warren Burrell to do the business at the heart of his back-four.

"We've lost two centre-backs but we've brought two in - Connor Hall and Will Smith - and I think they've both got great potential," the Town boss said.

"They're both very mobile, they've been keeping a really high line and are both determined characters with outstanding attitudes, so we've got to give them an opportunity.

"It's not a panic by any stretch because those two have done ever so well in pre-season and I've got a lot of confidence in the players that we have in the squad.

"We certainly didn't plan for it [Howe's departure] for the week before [the new season] but there's a difference between it not being ideal and us not being equipped to deal with it.

"We know the players well because we've been training every day and the two we brought in might not be as well known to people because they're younger in years and inexperienced at this level, and people might react and say it's a shame [that Howe has left], but teams evolve and develop and you've got to get on with it in football."

Despite his confidence in the players already at his disposal, Weaver confirmed that he is in the market for an extra defender, should the right option become available.

"In terms of looking for an additional defender, we'll certainly keep our eyes and ears open because we've not got the biggest squad, but we know that Warren [Burrell] can play there as well," he added.

"It's not necessarily a replacement for Callum, it would be another squad player.

"Callum was an important player, so there's perhaps a void to fill in that respect, so yeah, sure, if you're going to bring in a centre-half to aid the the squad's strength and depth then a big unit, in order to be able to call upon that if required, would be great, but you've got to be patient."