Six shown the door as Aspin reshuffles his pack

HARROGATE Town mean business and boss Neil Aspin has offloaded six players as part of a Wetherby Road shake up. Former skipper Paul Stoneman, 'keeper Michael Price, forward Gareth Grant and defenders Jason Wray, Jamie Heard and Chris Mason are free to leave but Aspin is lining up six quality replacements for the June 1 transfer window.

A new goalkeeper and highly rated forward are in Aspin's sights as the Town boss makes plans for an exciting new team, intent again on getting in the play-offs.

"I'm not making any predictions other than we'll be a very entertaining team to watch and hopefully that means more people will come to support us," said Aspin.

"Hopefully we'll be bringing in some good players to play for Harrogate.

"You want to be successful but the crowd want to see good football as well and if we can put together the side that we want to we should be a very entertaining side.

"Obviously, last season we got in the play-offs so this year the aim has again got to be to get in the play-offs but it won't be easy as other teams will also strengthen.

"I've said to the chairman if we don't improve the squad we will stand still or fall back and the job now is to bring in players that are better than the ones we let go."

Of Town's departures, Heard is heading to Australia while Mason is pursuing his football career in Sweden.

Price and Grant left as Aspin felt they couldn't give Town 100 per cent while Aspin believes Stoneman's place has been taken by Chris Timmons.

Whichever way you look at it, six departures is six departures but Aspin isn't worried about his now threadbare squad, especially with the prospect of an exiting new forward on the horizon.

"It was our decision," he said.

"Nobody asked to leave and it was the decision of myself and Lee Philpott. We now need to bring in another six players in to replace them.

"We start training on July 1 and I am confident we will have several players by then.

"What I would say is that we are also in the process of trying to sign a very highly rated player from another non-league club who comes with a good reputation and is wanted by other clubs.

"I feel we've got a good chance of signing him and he'll be a good asset for Harrogate Town."

Bruce Grobbelaar and Nicky Summerbee have been other names mooted but Aspin calls the shots and has had no contact with them making their signatures seem unlikely.

However, while Aspin will not be lured by purely big names, he's confident Town can start 2005-06 with a bang not with a whimper, and two defeats in three like last year.

"My early thoughts are that we'll be in a stronger position at the start of next season than we were at the start of last season," he said.

"Hopefully, we can get off to a good start and then build on that."

Town also learned this week that they are unlikely to face Scarborough next year, the Sea Dogs saved by Altrincham's failure against a points deduction and thus their demise to Nationwide North.

It's also been confirmed that Town will again enter the FA Cup at the Second Qualifying Round stage while Aspin confirmed the club are in the process of arranging the annual pre-seaon friendly with Leeds United for July.

Off the pitch, Town began putting the first pieces together for a potential move to Claro Road with a meeting last week with officials from Harrogate Rugby Club and Harrogate Borough Council.

The meeting was held to discuss the technical feasibility of both clubs sharing a ground that the Rugby Club will at present lose in 2009.

Meanwhile, Sunday sees Harrogate Town's eagerly awaited Family Open Day take place at Rossett School's playing fields.

Town are planning to launch a junior section next year and the event is designed as trials for young footballers - both boys and girls - aged four to open age.

As well as the training sessions there will be a barbecue, refreshments, penalty-shoot out, raffle, clothes stall and bric-a-brac stall.

The day begins at 11am, and training sessions will run as follows: 11am - boys and girls aged four to seven; 11am - girls aged eight to 16; 1pm - boys aged between eight and 14; 2.30pm - boys and girls aged 15 to open age.

Anybody requiring any more information should call Dave Heard on 01937 583189 or 07814 234147 or Liz Heard on 07870 861001.

lHARROGATE Town Supporters Club are holding their AGM on Thursday June 1, from 7.30pm at the Wetherby Road ground's Kickers Bar. All members and non-members are welcome to attend and air their views. Parking at the ground is also available. We now need to bring in another six players in to replace them.

“We start training on July 1 and I am confident we will have several players by then.

“What I would say is that we are also in the process of trying to sign a very highly rated player from another non-league club who comes with a good reputation and is wanted by other clubs.

“I feel we’ve got a good chance of signing him and he’ll be a good asset for Harrogate Town.”

Bruce Grobbelaar and Nicky Summerbee have been other names mooted but Aspin calls the shots and has had no contact with them making their signatures seem unlikely.

However, while Aspin will not be lured by purely big names, he’s confident Town can start 2005-06 with a bang not with a whimper, and two defeats in three like last year.

“My early thoughts are that we’ll be in a stronger position at the start of next season than we were at the start of last season,” he said.

“Hopefully, we can get off to a good start and then build on that.”

Town also learned this week that they are unlikely to face Scarborough next year, the Sea Dogs saved by Altrincham’s failure against a points deduction and thus their demise to Nationwide North.

It’s also been confirmed that Town will again enter the FA Cup at the Second Qualifying Round stage while Aspin confirmed the club are in the process of arranging the annual pre-seaon friendly with Leeds United for July.

Off the pitch, Town began putting the first pieces together for a potential move to Claro Road with a meeting last week with officials from Harrogate Rugby Club and Harrogate Borough Council.

The meeting was held to discuss the technical feasibility of both clubs sharing a ground that the Rugby Club will at present lose in 2009.

Meanwhile, Sunday sees Harrogate Town’s eagerly awaited Family Open Day take place at Rossett School’s playing fields.

Town are planning to launch a junior section next year and the event is designed as trials for young footballers - both boys and girls - aged four to open age.

As well as the training sessions there will be a barbecue, refreshments, penalty-shoot out, raffle, clothes stall and bric-a-brac stall.

The day begins at 11am, and training sessions will run as follows: 11am - boys and girls aged four to seven; 11am - girls aged eight to 16; 1pm - boys aged between eight and 14; 2.30pm - boys and girls aged 15 to open age.

Anybody requiring any more information should call Dave Heard on 01937 583189 or 07814 234147 or Liz Heard on 07870 861001.

lHARROGATE Town Supporters Club are holding their AGM on Thursday June 1, from 7.30pm at the Wetherby Road ground’s Kickers Bar. All members and non-members are welcome to attend and air their views. Parking at the ground is also available.