Simon Weaver's new Harrogate Town contract will take him to 15 years at Wetherby Road - and Paul Thirlwell signs up too

The Football League's longest-serving manager and his assistant have signed new three-year contracts with a brief to establish Harrogate Town in it.

Simon Weaver s new deal will take him into 15 years with the Wetherby Road club, and he insists he remains as hungry as ever to keep it progressing. His assistant Paul Thirlwell has also signed up until 2024.

The Sulphurites were a part-time Conference North team when defender Weaver became player-manager in 2009, and would have been relegated at the end of the first season had it not been for financial problems which saw Northwich Victoria demoted instead.

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But last summer Weaver took them into the Football League for the first time in the club's 106-year history. The were 17th in League Two last season, and also won the FA Trophy when the 2019-20 final was held a year late because of Covid-19.

TEAM: Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver with his assistant Paul Thirlwell (right)

“The aim is to continue the good work that has been done and extending the contract of both Simon and Paul is an important step to achieving those ambitions," said chairman Irving Weaver, Simon's father.

“We are determined to establish ourselves as an EFL club and build on a successful first season at this level.”

Simon added: “This club has been a massive part of my life for for 12 years, so to take it to 15 is fantastic for me personally.

“I’m excited about the challenge ahead and have as much appetite for it now as I did 12 years ago."

Former Sheffield United midfielder Thirlwell joined as a player in the summer of 2015 and became assistant manager 18 months later.

“Paul and I are very close, he definitely alleviates pressure on my job with what he brings to the table, he’s a good presence, has a great personality and sense of humour, but overall he is a really good person, which is important to me," said Simon Weaver.

"It’s been a really good six years going from player to the youth set-up to assistant manager and I’ve loved every minute," said Thirlwell.

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