Harborough Town boss Mitch is keeping the band together

Harborough Town’s preparations for life at a higher level have been ramped up over the last week.

Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 6:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 6:44 am
Harborough Town boss Mitch Austin has stepped up his preparations for life at Step 4 next season. Picture by Andrew Carpenter
Harborough Town boss Mitch Austin has stepped up his preparations for life at Step 4 next season. Picture by Andrew Carpenter

The sequence started with the news that manager Mitch Austin has signed a new, improved contract with the club despite interest from other teams.

Austin led the Bees to an incredible treble last season as they won the Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division South title, the UCL Champions Cup and the Hinchingbrooke Cup.

The club are now preparing for a first-ever season at Step 4 in the Northern Premier League Midlands and Austin has already made his intentions clear by securing the services of the vastmajority of his title-winning squad.

Captain Ben Williams, goalkeeper Elliott Taylor, Josh Walsh, Joel Carta, Gary Mulligan, Rhys Kelly, James Ireland, Dan Cooper, Paul Malone, Rhys Hoenes, Dodzi Agbenu and Merson Styles have all agreed terms for the new campaign.

And Austin insists everyone is deserving of the chance to show what they can do at the higher level.

“We are getting our key players back and making sure they are committed for another big challenge next season,” he said.

“I am really pleased with the boys who are staying but I still have some work to do with some others.

“I want to give everyone from last season an opportunity. I think they are all good enough and deserving of it.

“I’m not doing it for charity, I’m doing it because the squad was absolutely class.”

Austin admitted this summer will be different to ones he has experienced at other clubs where he has had to build teams almost from scratch.

But he insists there will be new arrivals at the Harborough Town Community Ground during pre-season while he says he is also willing to have his “eyes opened” by any players training with the club when they get back to work.

“My pre-seasons are usually a full rebuilding process with clubs I have been at in the past so this is different for me,” the Bees boss added.

“I will only need to add two or three and there will be opportunities for others to come down and show us what they can do.

"I am always open to having my eyes opened by players in pre-season.”