Harrison departs as duo take helm

Published date: 01 June 2017 |
Published by: Gavin Grosvenor
Read more articles by Gavin Grosvenor


Craig Harrison 

 

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CRAIG Harrison has spoken about the new challenge he faces and the fantastic memories he takes from his time at The New Saints.

Harrison took the reigns at National League side Hartlepool United last week, leaving behind a legacy in Park Hall.

He leaves as the most successful manager in the club's history, as he won six Welsh Premier League titles, four Welsh clubs and three League Cups.

Not to mention the progress the club have made in Europe.

Harrison looked back fondly on his time at the Saints when talking to the County Times this week, and looked forward to dragging the Pools back into the Football League.

He said: “Without a doubt it is a big challenge and a great opportunity, and I think it is a good time for me as well.

“It came out of the blue at the end of last week, and it is a new challenge for me.

“It has probably been in back of my mind for the last 17 months now, and it is the right job and move for me.

“The club and the owners and the chair lady are realistic, they are a big club with great supporters, a fantastic ground and training ground.

“Coupled with that the north east locaction for me is great as I come from around here, so it is the full package really.

“I wanted something new to get my teeth into.”

Harrison thanked TNS owner Mike Harris, and his players and said the club only need to look in one direction for a man to lead them forward.

He added: “It has been unbelieveable in five and a half years, we’ve had unpresedented success.

“I thank Mike for giving me the opportunity and the support of Ian Williams has been unbelievable.

“But the players have been fantastic, a players to work with.

“For me the club needs to look no further than Scotty and Evo (Scott Ruscoe and Steve Evans).

“The problem would be a pro-licence, but I am sure they will be able to get one.

“But they know that club on and off the pitch, and they would be the ideal choice.”

Chairman Mike Harris has moved to appoint the long serving pair ahead of their forthcoming European campaign.

However Harris conceded it could be a temporary measure as neither Ruscoe or Evans hold a UEFA pro licence.

The New Saints are to keep interim manager Scott Ruscoe and assistant-manager Steve Evans for their UEFA Champions League qualifier.

“Scott or Steve will have to find a Pro Licence course somewhere,” said Harris. “We’re hoping the Football Association of Wales may have another course to run and they get selected for it.

“If they don’t we’ll have to find someone else around Europe, because one of the things the club prides itself on is our succession planning.

“Scott and Steve Evans have been in situ for two to three seasons so that as and when that day came Craig Harrison left, the club wasn’t having to scrabble around trying to find someone in an emergency.”

  • See full story in the County Times

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