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Harrowby United manager Jamie McGhee on life as a United Counties League Premier Division club

Continuity will be the key for Harrowby United manager Jamie McGhee following the club's promotion to step five of the non-league pyramid.

McGhee has pledged his future to the club after leading the Arrows to glory in the United Counties League Division One play-offs last season.

He is also keen to retain as many players from the promotion-winning squad as possible following their elevation to the Premier Division North.

Manager Jamie McGhee leads the promotion celebrations. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Manager Jamie McGhee leads the promotion celebrations. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper

McGhee said: "I intend to keep the nucleus of the group together as I believe, from where we were last season to where we are now, 75 percent of these players got us through some awful times to then deservedly earn promotion when some would have simply walked away.

"I have a group of quality young players that deserve the chance to prove themselves at step five. As a group, they have been one of the best squads I have managed.

"It's been an easy journey though. We had to start from scratch, move players on and bring players in, sometimes at the sacrifice and disappointment of others.

"These things don't happen overnight sadly and a process needs to be followed.

"Naturally, I will look to strengthen the squad in a few positions and inevitably some players will move on and some will be unable to commit to step five football or how we wish to go about things moving forward."

The Arrows have been placed in the Premier Division North for next season following the league allocations being revealed.

There are a number of county derbies against Boston Town, Bourne Town, Deeping Rangers, Lincoln United, Skegness Town and Sleaford Town in what promises to be a cracking campaign for McGhee's men.

He added: "For the first time in more than a decade, we are now back in the Premier Division and we will not be there just to make up the numbers.

"I'm also realistic about where we are and we can't get ahead of ourselves because of a promotion.

"We are entering a fantastic and extremely competitive division which will host some great local fixtures.

"It's not in our DNA to just get through a season and my target will be to ensure we achieve one of our best league finishes at step five.

"I'm also hopeful for a good cup run as promotion comes with the benefit of FA Cup football.

"We will not be thinking about just surviving but aiming to give a good account of ourselves. We want to prove ourselves as a capable and consistent step five team."

The number of derby duels should also help to swell the crowds at the JRL Brickwork Stadium as attendances have been on the rise.

McGhee commented: "The support is massively appreciated and I'm delighted to see our fan base continuing to grow.

"The excitement of bigger crowds next season is a massive boost for the players. Exciting times await at Harrowby and I hope we can give the fans as much joy this season as we did last.

"There will undoubtedly be tough times ahead next season. Every week will be a challenge but, as we've already proven, never underestimate an underdog."

United Counties League Premier Division North: AFC Mansfield, Ashby Ivanhoe, Belper United, Boston Town, Bourne Town, Deeping Rangers, Eastwood, Gresley Rovers, Harrowby United, Heanor Town, Hucknall Town, Kimberley Miners Welfare, Lincoln United, Melton Town, Newark & Sherwood, Shirebrook, Skegness Town, Sleaford Town, Wisbech Town.

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