Harry is off to the New Den – but not until the new season. Eastbourne Borough and Millwall Football Club today put pens to paper on a deal which takes Harry Ransom to the Championship club, but he can still see the season out at Priory Lane.
Under English Football League rules, Ransom cannot be become a Millwall player until the next transfer season opens at the end of the current season. The two clubs have signed an exclusivity agreement, which binds the contract for the interim period, and allows Harry to remain a Sports player for the remaining National South fixtures. Terms and transfer fee are undisclosed.
“It suits all parties,” explained Borough chairman John Bonar. “Harry will train at Millwall during the week, but will be back at the Lane for Borough’s Thursday night training sessions and available for selection by Mark McGhee for the Saturday. I know that some media reports suggested that this weekend, against Bath City, would be his last game, but we can now clarify the agreement.”
“We are delighted for Harry, who came through our youth ranks and was frankly always destined for a level of football above National South. This represents very good business for all parties – but just as importantly, we are doing the right thing for Harry Ransom in human terms and we will be proud to follow his future progress in the game. I know that all supporters will join me in wishing Harry well.”
Assistant manager Danny Bloor was quick to add his own endorsement. “Harry is an absolute role model for any youngster. He looks after himself well, conducts himself immaculately, and works really hard at his game. He is not yet the finished article, but he has always been keen to take advice, and eager to learn from both the staff and the senior players around him.”
“We were quick to sign Harry on a pro contract on his eighteenth birthday – eighteen months ago, while he was still an Academy player, because the potential was very clear. He is a smashing lad, with a lovely family who support him all the way. I’m sure he will now finish his Borough phase of his career in style. We will certainly miss him!”
Social media has a gift for reporting, or even creating, news before it has happened, and channels were alive in midweek with suggestions that Harry was on the move. They were not far wide of the mark, but ahead of the game.
All season, a number of clubs have been tracking the progress of the 19-year-old, and the stakes were raised this month. Ransom spent last week training full-time at Millwall, and last Saturday no fewer than five Football League clubs were represented at Hungerford – where, ironically, the dreadful weather conditions allowed neither side to play any football, and scouts must have gone away none the wiser.
But Millwall had seen enough already, and the wheels for a deal were set in motion. Club officials, on both sides, have moved towards agreement, which was finalised today (Friday).
Harry’s qualities, and his potential, are not in doubt, and he surely has a future in the full-time game. He made his debut two years ago under Hugo Langton, in a late-season game at Weston-super-Mare and – brought on as a second-half substitute for just 20 minutes – he made a strong enough impact to earn Man of the Match from this reporter.
Well over six feet but also mobile and two-footed, Harry is the thinking manager’s centre-back. With a supportive family and a measured approach to life, he should successfully make the step up.