Midfielder George Horbury in line to make more Harrogate Town history after signing first professional contract

George Horbury is in line to make history as the first graduate of Harrogate Town's academy after signing his first professional contract.

The 18-year-old midfielder scored the first competitive goal for the academy, which was created last year, and was born in the spa town.

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As well as playing for the academy last season, Horbury was also completing his A-Levels.

ACADEMY GRADUATE: Midfielder George Horbury is making the step up to first-team level

Having come up through non-league football into the Football League in 2020, Harrogate did not have a fully-fledged youth set-up until last season, and first-team manager Simon Weaver is delighted to see it already bearing fruit.

“He’s a strong central midfielder who excelled last year in the under-18s, he was a real driving force for them and got better over the course of the season," he commented.

“It’s great having a Harrogate-born lad in there and we can’t wait to see how he develops now as a footballer.

“(Coaches) Paul Stansfield and Josh Law are already working their magic with players and without our academy we wouldn’t have had that insight into George.

“I remember watching him against Lincoln early on and thought he stood out and he’s got better and better.

“We’re going to involve him in the (pre-season) friendlies and take it from there , but we’ve got high hopes for him.”

For his part, Horbury said: "It’s a step up in level, but I’ve tried to come in as fit as possible and learn from the pros in this team.

“Last season was the first season for the academy so there were always going to be some ups and downs, but looking back I thought we did really well and I felt I improved over the year.

“I’m high energy, get round the pitch and always give it my all, I like to break up the play, break through the lines from midfield and cause problems with my passing and dribbling."

In their first two seasons in League Two Harrogate have gone one short on the bench because of a rule that clubs must have at least one product of their own academy to field a full seven.