Simon Lenighan seeks National North club despite attending Harrogate Railway trial day

Simon Lenighan in action at Harrogate Railway's trial day (Caught Light Photographer)
Simon Lenighan in action at Harrogate Railway's trial day (Caught Light Photographer)

Former Leeds United and Harrogate Town midfielder Simon Lenighan was the stand out name as Harrogate Railway hosted a “brilliant” trial day for potential recruits last week.

New manager Lee Ashforth set up the evening to cast his eye over a number of players looking for a move to Railway next season.

Ashforth has been on the hunt for new faces to bolster his ranks following the departures of Matt Heath, Adam Baker and Jordan Armstrong, who have all joined former boss Billy Miller at Tadcaster Albion, and Robbie Youhill to Darlington 1883.

Twenty-eight players headed to Station View for Thursday’s trial and Ashforth revealed he has offered six the chance to earn a place in his squad in pre-season.

“It went brilliantly, a lot better than I thought it was going to be,” Ashforth said.

“I thought it was going to be a development standard, but we got some really good players, including Simon Lenighan.

“I was impressed someone of his calibre was there.”

However, despite taking part in the trial, Lenighan has told the new Rail’ boss he would prefer a move to another Conference North outfit.

The midfielder, who is from Harrogate, was released by Town at the end of last season after making only 21 appearances.

Ashforth added: “He said he wanted to try and get a Conference North club. If he can’t, I would gladly take him on board if he wanted to come to this level and get some games.”

The registration window for new players does not open in the Evo-Stik Northern Leagues until July 1, but Ashforth has already pencilled in a number of recruits that are reporting for pre-season training.

Former Harrogate Town youngster Eddy Birch is on Ashforth’s radar, alongside ex-Guiseley man Jack Stockdale and ex-York City academy player Jordan Oughtibridge.

“I have now got a squad of around 24, which seems a good number at this stage,” Ashforth added.

“I don’t want too many. We have to get that down to 16 for when the season starts.”

Meanwhile, Railway will play a Middlebrough U21s side during a busy eight-match pre-season campaign.

The full pre-season schedule is yet to be announced, but it will include fixtures against Darlington 1883 and Town.

Ashforth revealed that Railway are also in talks to stage a marquee friendly against a League Two side.