Harpenden's 'hidden gem' set for exciting future says Town manager Micky Nathan
- Credit: DANNY LOO
They have been mixing it with the big boys in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division for a couple of years now but Micky Nathan believes the hidden gem that is Harpenden Town could be on the verge of an even better future.
The Harps boss had guided a young but undoubtedly talented side to eighth in the table before the season was curtailed, the second campaign in a row that has not brought a satisfactory conclusion.
But the club are not sitting still and with work off the pitch to improves the facilities at Rothamsted Park already in full swing, Nathan has also begun preparations on it.
And with both things combined, he sees only positive outcomes.
Speaking to the club website he said: "This club really is a hidden gem and you only have to look at how things have improved since last August to get a taste of the potential here.
“The community engagement is growing and the town is really starting to get behind us. Crowds are up and if the lads remain ambitious and eager to learn, then there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t be celebrating this time next year."
The league will restart properly in August and while they have created a cup to supply competitive fixtures, Nathan has opted to keep Harpenden playing friendlies, something he believes will lay the building blocks for the season to come.
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He said: "The league offered us a place in the new mini-cup competition but we felt it wouldn’t be as beneficial to us as a series of friendly games at this stage.
"The players have been off a while and to throw them cold into a competitive environment wouldn’t be ideal preparation so we’ve arranged a month of friendlies as a chance to get the lads together, keep our message fresh and get some minutes into the legs.
"We have a clear vision of how we like our teams to play football but you need a collective responsibility from everyone within the changing room in order to achieve that goal.
"Luckily I’ve got an excellent coaching team working alongside me at the moment and the players have been nothing less than tremendous.
"They’ve worked exceptionally hard. Progression is a massive part of football and the last few years have certainly showed that we’re heading in the right direction.
"It’s a good basis but we’re an ambitious club and we’ll be working hard in the off-season to make sure we hit the ground running next year."
Those friendlies against CB Hounslow, St Margaretsbury, Codicote, Saratt and Hertford Town will all be played behind closed doors.