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First Team Manager Profile: Craig Harrison

26 May 2017

Craig Harrison Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)

We take a closer look at the new man in charge at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium.

Craig Harrison began his playing career with Middlesbrough, coming through the ranks with The Teessiders before making his senior debut in a League Cup tie at Barnet in September 1997.
His league bow came the following month and he became a regular in the Boro side for the remainder of the 1997/98 campaign, playing mainly at left-back but also in the centre of defence.
In August 2000, he was allowed to go out on loan again, this time linking-up with Crystal Palace in a move which was made permanent when The Eagles paid £200,000 for his services the following month.
However, after working hard to win a place in the side, Harrison sustained a horrendous double leg-break at the start of 2002 whilst playing in a Reserve Team fixture at Reading.
Despite multiple operations, just over a year after suffering the injury he was told that his playing career was over and was forced to retire at the age of just 25. 
After taking time out from the game, Harrison was tempted in to coaching in late 2008 when he agreed to become Assistant Manager of Welsh Premier League club Airbus UK Broughton.
By the end of that campaign, Harrison was boss and his success alerted other clubs to his potential, leading to a move to The New Saints (formerly Total Network Solutions) in 2011.
Since then, he has led the Welsh outfit to six successive titles and in January they set a world record for consecutive victories for a top flight club when they won for a 27th consecutive time.
Harrison’s side also narrowly missed out on creating more history by winning the Welsh League and cup treble for a third successive occasion in the season just gone.
Famed for his attention to detail, focus on the impact of sports science and match analysis as well as strong player recruitment, Harrison was named the Welsh Premier’s Manager of the Season for a third year in succession.
Coaching Career
Airbus UK Broughton
First Team Manager
The New Saints
First Team Manager
Welsh Premier League Champions: 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Welsh Cup Winners: 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
Welsh League Cup Winners: 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Welsh Premier League Manager of the Season: 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17

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