Craig Harrison (footballer)

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Craig Harrison
Personal information
Full name Craig Harrison[1]
Date of birth (1977-11-10) 10 November 1977 (age 40)[1]
Place of birth Gateshead, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Connah's Quay Nomads (coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–2000 Middlesbrough 24 (0)
1999 Preston North End (loan) 6 (0)
2000 Crystal Palace (loan) 4 (0)
2000–2003 Crystal Palace 34 (0)
Total 68 (0)
Teams managed
2008–2011 Airbus UK Broughton
2011–2017 The New Saints
2017–2018 Hartlepool United
2018 Bangor City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Craig Harrison (born 10 November 1977) is an English professional football club manager and former player. He is currently coach of Welsh Premier League side Connah's Quay Nomads. In his seven-year playing career, in which he played in defence, he played for Middlesbrough, Preston North End and Crystal Palace.

From 2008, until his departure in 2011, he was the manager of Airbus UK Broughton. He then joined The New Saints as their new manager that same year. In June 2017, Harrison was appointed as the manager of Hartlepool United.

Early life

Harrison was born in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.[1]

Playing career

He is a product of the youth system at Middlesbrough, where he made a number of appearances during the 1997-98 promotion season under Bryan Robson. He was unfortunate not to play in the 1998 League Cup final, having been Boro's left-back in the three league games immediately before the final. However, he did play the full match as the club sealed promotion with a 4-1 final day win over Oxford United. He also started the club's first game back in the Premier League. Whilst at the club he had loan spells with Preston North End in 1999 and Crystal Palace in August 2000.

He joined Crystal Palace permanently the following month, and over the next two years made 34 league appearances for the club. In January 2002, he suffered a double compound fracture in his left leg whilst playing for the club's reserves against Reading.[2] After nineteen months in rehabilitation and three operations, he subsequently retired from professional football in 2003.[3] After retirement he battled depression and worked on property renovation and resale.[4]

Managerial career

Early career

In the spring of 2008, he was appointed Assistant Manager of Welsh Premier League side Airbus UK Broughton after a chance meeting with the then manager Gareth Owen. In the summer of 2008, Harrison was appointed manager. In January 2010, he announced he was registering himself as a player for the club.[5] He subsequently became Director of Football at the club.[6]

The New Saints

In December 2011, Harrison was unveiled as director of football and manager of The New Saints[7]

In his first season, he oversaw TNS being crowned the 2011–12 Welsh Premier League Champions, as well as the winning the Welsh Cup. He won the Welsh Premier League again in the 2013–2014 season, before securing the Welsh Premier League for the third year running and becoming the first team in Europe to win their domestic league.[8]

In May 2017, he was named Welsh Premier League manager of the season, having led the side to their sixth successive Welsh Premier League title, as well as the Welsh League Cup and breaking Ajax's 44-year-old world record for the longest winning streak in top-flight football.[9]

Hartlepool United

On 26 May 2017, Harrison was appointed as manager of newly relegated National League club Hartlepool United.[10]

Harrison was awarded the National League's manager of the month award for October 2017.[11]Following only one victory since late November, Harrison left his position as manager in February 2018.[12]

Bangor City

On 23 May 2018, Harrison was appointed as manager of Bangor City following their relegation from the Welsh Premier League after failing to obtain a tier one license.[13] On 19 October the same year he left the club to go to Connah's Quay as first team coach. He stated a desire to return to full time work as the key factor behind his decision.[14]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 20 February 2018
Team From To Record Ref
G W D L Win %
Hartlepool United 26 May 2017 21 February 2018 36 10 10 16 027.78 [15]
Total 36 10 10 16 027.78


As a manager


  1. ^ a b c "Craig Harrison". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Harrison injury blow for Palace". Sky Sports. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  3. ^ "The New Saints name Craig Harrison as their new manager". BBC Sport. 30 December 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Craig Harrison Big Interview: Career-ending injury made me bitter… but now I want to reach the top as a manager". The Non League Paper. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  5. ^ Airbus manager signs himself! NLN 24, 13 January 2010
  6. ^ "Owen returns to the Airfield in role reversal". Welsh Premier League. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Craig Harrison appointed as director of football". The New Saints. 30 December 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Welsh Premier League: New Saints' Craig Harrison wins managerial award". BBC Sport. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Craig Harrison: Hartlepool appoint The New Saints boss as manager". BBC Sport. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ "Bangor City: Club appoint Craig Harrison as new manager". BBC Sport. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Harrison joins Nomads management team". Connah's Quay Nomads. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Managers: Craig Harrison". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Welsh Cup final: Cefn Druids 0–2 The New Saints". BBC. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  17. ^ "Greg Draper sparks comeback as TNS net trophy double". Shropshire Star. 14 May 2014.

External links

  • Craig Harrison at Soccerbase
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