Harrogate Town transfer news: Simon Weaver plans to shut up shop with irreplaceable Luke Armstrong staying put

IRREPALCEABLE: Harrogate Town centre-forward Luke Armstrong (Photo: Pete Norton)
IRREPALCEABLE: Harrogate Town centre-forward Luke Armstrong (Photo: Pete Norton)

The Sulphurites have signed Dean Cornelius, Liam Gibson, Rod McDonald, James Daly, Lewis Thomas, Stephen Dooley and Abraham Odoh, as well as making Matty Daly and Matty Foulds' loans permanent.

That is set to be that, with Weaver content to work with this 24-man squad.

Armstrong, (pictured), top scorer in both previous seasons at Wetherby Road, made himself unavailable for the first two matches – both won – to force a move but has returned.

Weaver scoured the League One market for an available striker who could fill the hole the 27-year-old son of former Middlesbrough, Huddersfield Town, Bradford City and Doncaster Rovers striker Alun would leave, and came up blank.

"We haven't managed to get a replacement in, that's the top and bottom of it," said Weaver, who has consistently said it would be the only way he would allow Armstrong to leave.

"There's been a bit of interest from one club (thought to be Milton Keynes Dons) over the last few days but we said all along we're not going to make someone at our level stronger and us weaker unless we have a top replacement we think can replace his physical attributes, his mobility, his goal power.

"At the minute not many people at League One level – because we think he's good enough to strive for that – are giving up their No 9s."

Harrogate have won two and lost three of their opening League Two matches. The side outclassed by Blackburn in the League Cup second round featured eight changes from the one which beat Mansfield Town.

Unless they reach the FA Cup third round, Harrogate will not face opponents of Blackburn’s quality again this season but Weaver wants them to learn from it.

“We gifted four goals before half-time,” he lamented. "Players were probably not used to such incisive passes inside them and delicate touches inside the box. You have to think quicker, move quicker and be in the right spots.”