by James Grayson www.nonleagueyorkshire.com
Harrison Biggins admits that he owes a lot to the Stocksbridge Park Steels management team after his dream move to Fleetwood Town was confirmed.
Chris Hilton and his assistants Ryan Laight, Lee Thompson and Shaun Handisides have spent the last three years developing Biggins, the son of former Barnsley striker Wayne into a top midfielder.
When the Crawford HR Non League Yorkshire player of the year arrived in 2014 as an 18-year-old, he was unsure what the future held from a football point of view, but the quartet have enabled him to fulfil his dream.
“I was at Barnsley and I got released and I did feel at rock-bottom,” Biggins told Non League Yorkshire.
“Thinking about getting about into football was right at the back of my mind, but Stocksbridge has been great for me.
“I came in as a kid and I’m probably leaving as a man. Football-wise I was probably a bit immature when I came in, but three years is a long time in football and I’ve progressed year by year.
“That is shown by the fact I have progressed onto higher things.
“Since the first league game that I played in on the first day of the 2014/15 season, I’ve started in 151 games for Stocksbridge,”
“It could have been 155 starts as there is only four times where Hilts has left me out. I can’t thank Hilts, Ryan Laight, Lee Thompson, Shaun Handisides, enough for giving me such a chance.
“I’ve had to work hard, but they have pushed me on and brought me on over three years.
“They have brought me on massively with how they have coached me. I have massive respect for them. “I am going to miss everyone immensely.”
The first season was tough for Biggins, but the last two have been magnificent. The latest one – which ended with him deservedly winning the NLY player of the year vote – saw him hit 19 goals, many of which have become Youtube hits.
So what would be the high point of the three years? “I’ve got a few highlights,” he said.
“Obviously my debut at Norton (Chris Hilton’s first game in charge) when we lost in the last minute.
“There’s the two FA Trophy runs. We played good teams at good grounds. During this year’s run, I personally scored in every single round.
“I got 19 goals this year and I would have never expected that at the start of the season.
“As for my favourite goal from the last three years, the goal from the halfway line (against Kidsgrove) is probably it, but there is some free kicks which didn’t get videoed. I’ll just have to remember those.”