Weaver lauds Chib return

NADV 1201252 Harrogate Town forum. (1201252AM)
NADV 1201252 Harrogate Town forum. (1201252AM)

Chib Chilaka will be back in a Harrogate Town shirt after re-signing from Braintree Town until the end of the season.

The tasty transfer coup was announced exclusively to the Harrogate Advertiser by boss Simon Weaver, who couldn’t hide his excitement.

Big Chib comes straight into tomorrow’s squad for the visit of Corby Town (3pm ko).

“It’s great to have him back,” said Weaver.

“He was popular with the fans before he left. Chib is a massive boost for us.

“He’s exciting to watch and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Chilaka returns having struggled to find a regular place in Braintree’s starting line-up after a summer move. He has scored twice this term for the Blue Square Premier outfit.

His signing will boost Weaver’s attacking options as they enter an important part of the Blue Square North season.

The Wetherby Road boss will be missing Alex Meechan for up to three weeks after he damaged his hamstring in Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Ossett Albion in the County Cup quarter-final.

In other player news Peter Bore has left the club and joined Conference side Lincoln City.

Despite Meechan’s loss and another player departure, Weaver is upbeat after a successful week on the pitch by his men, who rose to 16th in the table.

Town returned home with a vital 2-1 victory over Hinckley United on Saturday (see page 49 for a full report). Tuesday’s aforementioned County Cup win, courtesy of a Lee Elam strike, has set up a semi-final against former Town legend John Deacey and his Bradford Park Avenue troops in March.

But for now all eyes are on Corby, if it beats the inclement weather.

The match is already in doubt, and will most likely face an early pitch inspection, with frosty weather expected to blast North Yorkshire over the weekend.

“Looking at their results Corby have one of the poorest home records, but they are very strong away,” continued Weaver.

“That’s something we’ll have to look out for. After the last two wins it’s a very important game for us.

“I never like putting pressure on players, but Saturday was a must-win, and they responded. Hopefully it’s looking up.

“When I looked at the fixtures we didn’t particularly have a bad January, we won two, lost one and drew one, but everyone will look at the Altrincham game because we let in five goals.”

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s result gave Weaver a chance to view fringe players in action, and hands Town a tasty encounter with Park Avenue at Wetherby Road next month.

“Although people will say ‘It’s only the County Cup,’ we want to make winning a habit,” continued Weaver.

“We rested a few players, Paul Brayson, Jonny Allan, Craig Radcliffe and Paul Heckingbottom. But the lads we brought in did a great job.

“We played Jack Emmett and Dan Clayton. Dan was great at right back and Jack caused no end of problems.

“They’re two local lads who have bided their time.

“They’ve been training with us and it was only fair they get their chance.

“It also gives us a few more options.

“The players we’ve got and the others underneath, there’s not much of a gap now and that can only be good for the future.”

Meanwhile, Weaver is happy to work in close conjunction with Harrogate Railway, after Station View assistant Mick Norbury asked for their help (story left).

Rail’ have an eye on taking back striker Paul Beesley and a few Town fringe players.

“I want Harrogate Town to be friends with everyone,” added Weaver.

“It’s in our own interest to do that, so yes I’ll speak to them and see what we can do. As long as my players are happy with it, then so am I.”