Fotherby sets his sights on the title

HARROGATE TOWN chairman Bill Fotherby pulled off a major coup by signing former Scarborough and Halifax defender Denny Ingram on Friday and then declared: "I want that title."

Fotherby said he has been inspired by Farsley Celtic's promotion to the new Blue Square Premier via the Conference North play-offs in May and he is determined to join them for the start of the 2008-09 campaign.

And underlining his intent, Fotherby backed manager Neil Aspin's pursuit of the much sought after Ingram, who joins fellow-summer recruits Mark Hume, Nathan Peat, Lee Whittington, Paul Musselwhite and Curtis Aspden at Wetherby Road.

Fotherby said: "Farsley Celtic are in the Blue Square Premier and I am delighted for them, I will be following every game.

"But I am also delighted for us because it has proved one thing – you don't have to be a Kettering Town, you don't have to be a big club with 1,500 people turning up every week to get up there, it is possible to do it with average crowds of 5/600.

"I do wish we were in their place, but for me it is marvellous news and it spurs us on.

"One thing is for sure, never mind the top five, we have got to get that title this season and when you think of the players we have signed there is no reason why we can't do it."

While the arrival of Ingram, widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs outside of the Football League, underlines Town's intent, they had already signalled it with the capture of Hume, Peat, Whittington, Musselwhite and Aspden.

Left-back Peat made the move from York City, while fellow-defender Hume switched from Blue Square North rivals Stalybridge Celtic.

Young striker Whittington arrives from Scarborough and they are joined by two goalkeepers.

Vastly-experienced former Scunthorpe and Hull stopper Musselwhite was at Port Vale last season while, at the other end of the spectrum, 19-year-old Aspden arrives on a season-long loan from the KC Stadium.

"The reputation of Denny Ingram is that he was the best defender in the Conference and everybody has been after him," said Fotherby.

"There is no question about it, these are the best signings we have made since I have been at this club.

"My instructions to them will be to keep a clean sheet in every game. I don't think there is anything to be afraid of, I want that title."

Town have also made a signing off the pitch, with luxury coach operator Eddie Brown Tours set to provide the squad with VIP travel to all away games next season.

As part of the deal, the main stand at Wetherby Road will be named the Eddie Brown Stand.