Harrison quits as Harbourmen manager

Holyhead Hotspur FC

Holyhead Hotspur manager Campbell Harrison has left the club after five seasons.

The ex-Porthmadog and Cemaes Bay coach returned to the Harbourmen in June 2013 after a previous stint in charge from 2006 until September 2009.

The New Oval club says Harrison resigned to spend more time with his family and concentrate on his role as headmaster of St Gerrard’s School in Bangor.

Last season saw Holyhead make a strong start to the Huws Gray Alliance campaign – going undefeated during August – before a combination of injuries, suspension and unavailable players took their toll.

Hotspur ended the season fourth bottom in the table, albeit comfortably above the relegation zone, but suffering their worst set of results since joining the second tier of Welsh football.

Harrison’s last game in charge – a 4-1 win over Caersws – ended a barren run of eight league defeats in a row. A week before, they missed out on a place in the Huws Gray Cup final with defeat against eventual winners Flint Town United.

A club spokesperson said on Tuesday: ”The Holy Islanders have become one of the most respected teams in a league which has developed into its most competitive in recent seasons since the formation of the Welsh pyramid second tier competition in 1990.”

”Having to operate within a tight budget for financial reasons has often proved difficult in recruiting players from outside the area to augment the talented locals in the side, but has invariably finished in the top half of the league table, and it is only in the latter season that Holyhead Hotspur has ended in a lowly position.”

Perhaps Holyhead’s biggest result in the second Harrison era came when they beat Bangor City 2-1 in a famous Welsh Cup third round upset in December 2015. They were denied a place in the quarter finals after a 3-1 defeat to Bala Town.

Harrison’s first stint in charge saw the Harbourmen come closest to WPL promotion in 2009, when Bala Town pipped them to the league title by just three points – despite winning 23 out of 32 games. That season saw also Hotspur reach the Huws Gray Cup final, where they also lost out to the Lakesiders.

Long before joining Holyhead, Harrison was well known as a player and coach at Cemaes Bay during its three seasons in the former League of Wales from 1995-1998.

He progressed to Porthmadog, where his influence as a defender helped guide them to the Cymru Alliance title in 2002-03, conceding only nineteen goals along the way. Harrison later returned to Y Traeth as assistant manager before taking charge of Hotspur again.

A spokesperson added that although Harrison was leaving the manager’s role at Holyhead, he would stay ‘on side’ with the club when time allowed.