“He is ready for the opportunity,” said Graham Westley just after he’d made Joe Leesley our first signing of the January 2020 transfer window. The winger came to us on a short-term loan deal from Harrogate Town; the National League side not giving us an option of the permanent switch if things worked out, however. Time will tell on that front, with Town boss Simon Weaver leaving the door open for the player to return to North Yorkshire.
GW was clearly a fan of Leesley, however. The 2017-8 National League North Player of the Season was on the Boro’ manager’s radar for at least a couple of years. The winger, according to Westley, was “not Ryan Giggs out there; he is much more David Beckham.” And it’s perhaps understandable why his parent club wasn’t willing to give him up easily – even if his time with us was a success. To start with, at least, both clubs would be more than happy if Leesley took the Football League by storm.
Joe Leesley: Before Boro’
Leesley had started the 2019-20 season in the Town side, but soon found himself on loan at Stockport County; appearing 10 times for Harrogate’s National League rivals. He made the move to the CNG Stadium in 2016 after leaving Alfreton Town. In addition to making a firm impression in club football, the winger had seen action for England C too.