Harrison looks back

With his team at the top of the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League, Craig Harrison spoke about some of the managers that may have shaped his career thus far, ‘I have been lucky enough to play for a lot of really good managers. Whilst I was on loan at Preston North End, David Moyes was the manager. At that time Preston were in the third tier so 14 years on, you would never have predicted that Moyes would be the current manager of Manchester United. At that time I would have also never have thought that I would be a Champions League manager. That is football and anything can happen and it was a great experience for me. Moyes was a very methodical and organised manager and it was a very good time to be at Preston. I enjoyed every minute of my time in Lancashire.’

Gateshead born Harrison then confirmed that he was happiest at his first club, Middlesbrough, ‘Football wise I was probably happiest at Middlesbrough because at the time Bryan Robson was the manager and for me it was unbelievable to be sat in the dressing room with him telling me what to do. Between him and Paul Gascoigne, they were probably the best English players of my generation so to be part of a team with them was incredible. There were also other fantastic players at the club such as Juninho, Ravanelli, Emerson and Paul Merson to name but a few. Middlesbrough was also reasonably close to home for me so geographically it was nice. I played regularly but when the manager brought in Christian Ziege from AC Milan, who was a German international, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to play week in week out and although I had just signed a new long term contract the manager was honest with me which was great and I was told I was going to be a squad player at that time.’

After ‘Boro, the 35 year old joined Crystal Palace and enjoyed his time in South London, ‘After I went on loan at Preston, I went on a loan move to Crystal Palace and at the time I wanted to play regular football, so therefore I made the big decision to leave Boro and I signed for them.  In the end the fee for me was around half a million pounds and I went to Selhurst Park as one of the main players. As a player you can not beat playing week in week out despite the fact that Palace were struggling at the time.’

The Director of Football joined TNS from Airbus in 2011 and he still keeps in contact with some of his former managers, specifically Dave Geddis, ‘I learnt a lot from my former managers including Robson, Moyes and Steve Bruce and I have had some great opportunities.  Dave Geddis who I am still very good friends with was my youth team manager at Middlesbrough and has really helped my development. I still meet up with him on a regular basis. For me it is great to be able to speak to the likes of Dave and have someone to bounce ideas off.’