Cod Almighty | Diary
Harry Clifton: One of our own
14 October 2021
Derby Diary writes: There are few moments in the game of football that bring greater pride for a fan than to see an academy player rise through the ranks, embodying the spirit that your favourite club represents each time they take to the pitch.
For Grimsby Town in the present era, and for younger fans of the Mariners such as myself, that player is Harry Clifton.
Born and raised in the town that hugs the north-east coastline of Lincolnshire, Clifton lives and breathes Grimsby. He knows better than most in the current crop of players what it means to pull on the famous black and white shirt.
He joined the club in 2007 as a nine year old and, having amassed over 100 senior appearances for his home town club, he is now a constant feature in Paul Hurst's starting XI. The tenacious midfield player has played a crucial role in Grimsby's excellent start to the 2021-22 National League season, scoring the winning goal in the Mariners' most recent triumph away at Woking.
Looking closer at the victory over Woking, not only did the man of the hour score, but he put in a tireless performance in the centre of midfield with Ben Fox. Woking set-up with three more central midfielders leaving Town outnumbered in that area of the field on many occasions in the game. However, Fox and Clifton, who ultimately indirectly combined for the winning goal, were brilliant.
We know as well as anyone that there are no guarantees in this league; it feels like yesterday we escaped the National League's agonizing grasp, but we aren't planning on staying as long this time. Having been in and around the club throughout its most challenging period, we know Clifton carries the ire of the fanbase when he plays, which has taken his performance level up a notch this season.
In recent years, the squad has been chopped and changed an exhausting amount, leaving a 23 year old as one of the team's senior players in terms of experience in Town colours. However, he has taken that responsibility on his shoulders and run with it. As much as I'm growing to love the current crop of players in equal measure, it always brings that extra hit of celebratory endorphins when I see Harry on the scoresheet.
The new era is up and running at Grimsby, and Hursty has quickly built a new identity for his squad, which has churned out one positive result after the next. It's no surprise that Grimsby's finest, Harry Louis Clifton, is at the centre of it all, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I'm looking forward to attending Grimsby's FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round fixture away at Bromsgrove Sporting on Saturday and being amongst the brilliant Town away day contingent for the first time in a long while.
"He's one of our own!"
This is the last trial diary from the writers who entered our competition to find a younger diarist (but if you fancy having a try at it, do get in touch). We're always glad of feedback and especially so for our four trialists. Watch this space to see who'll be writing next week's diaries.