Harrow Borough-Steve Baker

Next up at Off the Post, we spoke to Harrow Borough manager Steve Baker, who has been in charge at Earlsmead for over 5 years now having left Chipstead. Steve has a rich history of playing non league for local clubs. Ahead of the 2020-21 season we spoke to Steve about the club and much more….

You were sitting in 17th when the season finished for COVID-19, do you think you would have finished higher if the season had finished. 

I think we would have improved on 17th, we were only 3 points off a mid table position .

You have been in charge for 5 years how have you been impressed with how the club has developed?

The 5 years have gone quickly, I’m happy that the club is now on a sound financial footing and that we have a stable board as well who backs me. There have been ups and downs during those 5 years, but we are looking better on and off the field now. We have been to 3 cup finals and had a good run in the FA cup as well. 

What are the team’s targets for the season?

The team’s target each year is to improve on the season before. For us where we have a small but tight squad is to stay fit and healthy and have less injuries. 

What type of football do you like your side to play 

We like to play entertaining football here at Harrow Borough, you won’t find us lumping the ball. We were the highest scorers in the division last season as well. But if you came and saw one of our games you would see a fast attacking style. 

How has preseason gone so far?

This has to be one of the longest pre-seasons I’ve known. We came back in June for some fitness work. We have played a few games recently and looked at a few new players and I’ve been impressed with how we have played against sides like Potters Bar from step 3. 

Have there been any comings/goings since the summer?

We have had a couple of players who have moved on. In the next few days we hope to announce a few new signings in the next few days. I’ve been looking at adding 2-3 players this season, it’s what I think we need to have a good squad here this season. 

Any players we should be looking out for this season?

For me, it has to be George Moore, he has improved a lot since he joined the club and is one of the best all round players. We also have Michael Bryan as well who is a quality player, he was at Watford as a youngster. 

Do you think the FA were right to void all leagues below Step 2?

At the time it was right. If i was at the top of the table and had a chance to go up, then you have a right to be annoyed and if you were at the bottom you are relieved to have another chance. There are many arguments for/against. 

How will non leagues have changed due to COVID-19?

Hopefully we and other clubs should benefit in terms of crowds while people can’t go to the pro clubs around like Chelsea/QPR/Fulham and Brentford. 

What opposition are you most looking forward to/wanting to avoid?

Truro to avoid, but that’s just because of the travelling. I’m looking forward to our derbies against my old side Hayes & Yeading and Hendon. 

What club do you support

I don’t support a team, but my dad was a Chelsea fan and took me to games as a youngster.

Best moment in management

I have two moments, the first was keeping Harrow Borough up, where we had a good set of results in the last few months and stayed up on the final day. The second was getting to the 1st round of the FA Cup the other year and taking on Northampton away.

What manager/coach do you admire the most?

These are mostly the managers I played under such as Terry Brown at Hayes, alongside Dave Anderson later in my career. But as a youngster it was Joe Gadston as my youth coach at Brentford. 

Best player you have managed/ against you? 

This is a good question, probably Billy Crook of Enfield Town or Ashley Carew of Dulwich Hamlet

What are the clubs plans for the next 3-5 years?

First and foremost is to make sure the club is stable and after that making sure the club looks forward rather than down. 

Who do you think will win the league this year?

I think Truro will win the league and if not them Chesham or Hayes will be in the running

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