By Steven Oldham
New Radcliffe FC signing Harry Winter is looking to the future after joining Jon Macken’s team this summer.
Midfielder Winter joins the newly-promoted BetVictor Northern League club after leaving FC United, with his second spell at Broadhurst Park ending with the club’s first relegation. He joins First Division West playoff winners Radcliffe as they take their place in the NPL’s top tier for the first time in over a decade.
He said: “I leave FC with many happy memories, but it was time for a fresh start. Last season was difficult for everyone involved. I was injured early on and never really got going.”
“The club are trying to build by adding me and others. Radcliffe might not be a massive name in non-league traditionally, but that could all change. There’s been investment to take the club forward.”
“This league’s a bit of an unknown for me, I’ve spent most of my career at Conference North level and you can never tell what will happen. The club is going in the right direction though.”
The move sees him link up with former boss Karl Marginson again, who joined the ambitious Boro last year as Head of Football Operations, working with manager Macken.
“I know and trust Karl, he was good to me in the past – he took into account me juggling work as an engineer with my football and I appreciate that.”
He is also preparing for life after his on-field career ends, and has already secured his FA Level 2 coaching badges.
“I’ve worked with Andy Preece, Dave Challinor and Jim Gannon to name a few – all successful managers in non-league. I’ve picked up good techniques from each manager I’ve worked with – they all have different styles. Now I’m with another promotion winner in Jon.”
“I’m 30 now, I realistically have 2 or 3 seasons left. I’ll probably drop into defence – I want to play as long as I can. I definitely want to stay in football, either coaching or as a manager. It’s something I’m serious about, I’m paying for my badges myself.”
Leadership comes somewhat naturally to Winter, who wore the captain’s armband at both FC United and Stockport County. He believes his team’s opening day opponents, South Shields, will provide a stern test and will be challenging for honours.
“It’s hard to tell what will happen come the end of the season but you’ve got to look at clubs like South Shields and Warrington to be up there again. My old club FC have added well over the summer as well.
“We could be up there too, Radcliffe aren’t here just to make up the numbers.”
Interview/article by @spoldham