Twenty-year-old defender Jay Williams has joined the Sulphurites from National League North outfit Kettering Town, signing a permanent deal at Wetherby Road.
The former Northampton Town man follows loanees Josh March and William Hondermarck into the EnviroVent Stadium as manager Simon Weaver makes good on his vow to add both strength and depth to his squad.
Having been invited to train with Harrogate before Christmas, Williams immediately caught his new manager’s eye.
“I’d heard a bit about Jay and was aware that he’d clocked up a decent amount of EFL games with Northampton at a pretty young age,” Weaver said.
“We had him up for a trial, something that we got permission from Kettering to do. He trained really well and straight away I liked him.
“I like his honesty, I love his attitude, I like the fact that he was prepared to travel a fair way up and down a motorway to come and train with us.
“He’s only young, but I think he will be a good player, not just in the future, but right now. He looks composed and has got some steadiness about him for a 20-year-old.
“He’s also got the versatility that Warren Burrell offers us. He can play centre-half or right-back and even in the centre of midfield, which I like.”
Williams signed for Kettering in November of last year following his summer exit from Northampton, a club he spent seven years with having joined at the age of 13.
He made his professional debut for the Cobblers in September 2018 and went on to make 17 senior appearances at Sixfields, something else that attracted Weaver to him.
“That Football League experience is 100 per cent another string to his bow,” the Town boss added.
“I watched footage of some of the games he played for Northampton at places like Swansea and Oldham and he looked a player.
“To play at centre-half in League Two at his age and do so well is impressive.”
Williams, who was on non-contract terms at Kettering, could make his Harrogate debut at Cambridge United on Saturday.
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