Stephen Duke-McKenna will 'excite' fans and offer Harrogate Town plenty more besides

Stephen Duke-McKenna was unveiled as Harrogate Town's first signing of the summer transfer window on Monday evening. Pictures: Harrogate Town AFCStephen Duke-McKenna was unveiled as Harrogate Town's first signing of the summer transfer window on Monday evening. Pictures: Harrogate Town AFC
Stephen Duke-McKenna was unveiled as Harrogate Town's first signing of the summer transfer window on Monday evening. Pictures: Harrogate Town AFC
“Exciting” Harrogate Town fans with his style of play is top of Stephen Duke-McKenna’s list of priorities, but the the former QPR midfielder insists that he has plenty more to offer besides.

The 23-year-old was unveiled as the League Two Sulphurites’ first signing of the summer transfer window on Monday after he put pen to paper on a two-year deal.

Quick, direct, and at his most effective when running with the ball, the versatile Liverpudlian is capable of playing in a number of positions, but operates predominantly as a winger.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On paper, Duke-McKenna looks to have been drafted in as a direct replacement for Abraham Odoh, whose 10 goals from the left wing last season earned him a six-figure switch to League One Peterborough United.

Stephen Duke-McKenna has been snapped up by the Sulphurites following his release from Championship outfit QPR.Stephen Duke-McKenna has been snapped up by the Sulphurites following his release from Championship outfit QPR.
Stephen Duke-McKenna has been snapped up by the Sulphurites following his release from Championship outfit QPR.

And, while he will doubtless be looking to thrill Harrogate supporters in the same way that the player whose number nine shirt he has inherited did during 2023/24, Town’s new recruit says that there is more to his game.

“I like to excite the fans, but obviously I leave everything out there as well,” Duke-McKenna said.

“I think that they will like the fight in me. And hopefully I can provide goals and assists as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’m hoping that I can take my form at the end of last season straight into this season from the start and carry on and have a full season. That’s the main goal.

“Regular football and consistency, that’s what I’m looking to show the fans.”

Having helped Leyton Orient win the League Two title while on loan there in 2021/22, Duke-McKenna did enough to force his way into Championship Rangers’ starting line-up on a number of occasions during the early weeks of last season.

He eventually fell out of favour and was allowed to join Sutton United on loan in January, but received a warm send-off from his previous employers when he exited Loftus Road upon the expiry of his contract earlier this summer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I was struck immediately by Stephen's inquisitive mind and immense desire to improve his game,” Rangers CEO Christian Nourry said.

"I think he demonstrated in the opportunities that he got during his recent loan spell that he is a player with a promising career further afield.

"We both feel that this is the moment for him to forge his own path elsewhere. I wish him nothing but the best for the future."

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.