Play-offs are the target as Harborough get ready for the big kick-off

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Mitch Austin is targeting a play-off push as Harborough Town get ready to kick-off the new Northern Premier League Midlands campaign.

The Bees enjoyed a good first season at Step 4 in 2022/23 when they finished eighth place and two points outside the top five.

But, having strengthened his squad with some notable signings over the summer, Austin is looking for more as his team prepare to begin their season at newly-promoted Anstey Nomads on Saturday.

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“I think everyone is aware that the play-offs the target for us,” the Bees boss said.

Harborough Town manager Mitch Austin. Picture by Jim DarrahHarborough Town manager Mitch Austin. Picture by Jim Darrah
Harborough Town manager Mitch Austin. Picture by Jim Darrah

“I don’t want a season where we are finishing 10th or just outside things. That does nothing for me.

“Unless we’re competing at the top end of leagues or for the play-offs and there’s something to play for throughout the season, it just doesn’t get me going anymore.

“We will put the pressure on ourselves to be successful like all good teams do.

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“We’re excited, we have had a pretty decent pre-season and the performances have been good.

“It’s a tough test at a newly-promoted team in Anstey Nomads.

“Momentum is a great thing in football and we will have to be very respectful of what they did last season and that momentum they bring with them.

“But we are focusing on ourselves. I feel we will learn from the mistakes we made last year and be better for it.

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“We really want to try to give ourselves a positive start to the season.”

The Bees rounded off pre-season with a 2-1 home defeat to Northern Premier League Premier Division side Radcliffe last weekend.

The game gave Austin the chance to go up against former Salford City and Chester joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley.

And the Harborough manager added: “They were great guys.

“They were really respectful of us and I hope we have built a relationship with them.

“They want us to go up there next season and we want to be rubbing shoulders with people like that.”