Former England C goalkeeper James Belshaw has signed a two-year contract that will see him join Harrogate Town from Vanarama National League North rivals Tamworth.
The 26-year-old, who has starred for Tamworth for the last three years, has now made the leap back to full-time football.
Belshaw said: “I’m delighted to get the deal signed. Harrogate is a club that I really admire and that I can’t wait to be a part of. First and foremost, I’m coming here to win and we want to be pushing for promotion next year for sure.
“I’ve heard great things about the club and having some of the staff here I just love what the club stands for. For me, I want to be a big part of what we’re hoping to achieve here, and I have two years now to help the club progress towards where we want to be.”
It’s a big move for the Nottingham-born player as he will be traveling from his home-town every day to train and play, but he knows it will pay off when the new season starts.
He said: “Regardless of the traveling, it’s a move I had no hesitation in making. To be honest, I’d drive 10 hours to play football and any player would be motivated by the facilities we have on offer here. I genuinely love playing and I can’t wait to get involved with the club.”
Belshaw, like fellow newcomer Josh Falkingham, will also be getting involved in the youth development programme at Town.
I’m going to try and get involved with the younger players here for sure. Coaching, and giving something back to the community is something I strongly believe in. I think it’s important for the first-team lads to be in and around the club on a regular basis, and to help build a community atmosphere around the club.”
After three successful seasons at Tamworth, it was always going to take a lot for the fans favourite to leave The Lamb Ground. However, when he heard of Harrogate’s interest it was an easy decision to make.
“The gaffer really sold the club to me” continued Belshaw. “He’s seen me play a number of times now and when we spoke he was very complimentary about my performances. It’s a good feeling knowing that the manager wants me to be a part of his side, and that he has taken the time to really get to know me as a player.”
Belshaw believes that his experience from the other clubs he’s been at, including Nuneaton Town and Walsall will help him over the course of the season
He said: “I’ve played at this level for the last few years and played pretty much every game, so I’ve got a lot of experience. That said, I’m still only young, so for a goalkeeper I’ve got a lot of years still ahead of me. I am confident that I can be a big part of a successful season here, and it will be great to join up with the lads in July.”
Meanwhile, further to the announcement made earlier this month, discussions have concluded with the remaining members of Town`s playing squad.
Lewis Turner, Peter Crook and Chib Chilaka are all leaving the club.
This is further to the news that eight other members of the 2016/17 squad would not be joining for next season’s campaign.