IMAGINE being in two cup semi-finals, only for the season to be cut short early and vanish. That was the case for Harry Brown’s Ilkley Town.

The West Yorkshire League Premier Division side were flying high in second, on the verge of promotion to Step Six, while on the cup front they were in the final four of the West Yorkshire League Cup and the Wharfedale & District FA Cup.

The attacking midfielder played a crucial part in that success, featuring 18 times in the league for Simon Armstrong’s side.

In March, the FA decided to void and expunge Steps Three to Seven in the non-league pyramid, meaning all of Ilkley’s efforts amounted to nothing.

Brown is determined to bounce back whenever the 2020/21 campaign is allowed to start and thinks promotion will certainly be the target again.

He said: “It was frustrating to not get promoted but we have to use it as motivation and try to challenge for the title in the upcoming season. We were able to show that we can be up there challenging, being the only team to take points off (runaway leaders) Beeston. I think the improvement we showed as a squad from the year before to this year was excellent.

“The coaching team gave us areas to improve in, and we were able to do that, but it is not to say we can’t improve again next season. I think we have the squad to be able to do that and if we can perform at the high level we showed this year consistently, I believe we have as good a chance as anybody.”

Brown was also the club’s second highest scorer in 2019/20 with 13 goals, only one behind striker Tom Smith.

Finding the back of the net is a skill the midfielder has always possessed and he hopes to continue helping his side out in that department.

Brown added: “I always aim for double figures, so it was nice to achieve that this season.

“It always feels good to be able to contribute to the success of the team, so it would be nice to match meeting individual goals with achieving team success next season.”

Evan Seaman