Harry Clifton set to make landmark 250th appearance for Grimsby Town

This weekend could see locally-born academy product Harry Clifton make his 250th appearance for Grimsby Town, which David Artell labelled “a fantastic achievement”.

Since signing his first professional deal with the club in 2015, the 25-year-old has steadily risen in prominence within the Mariners squad to become one of the first names on the team sheet under multiple managers, with Artell the latest who has quickly taken a liking to Clifton’s attitude on and off the pitch.

The midfielder swept up the end-of-season awards at the club for his performances last term, finishing as Town’s top goal scorer in the league. While he has not quite hit the heights of the last campaign so far, Clifton has remained an important part of the team, with his availability being one of his biggest strengths, illustrated by his reaching this appearance landmark while still young in his career.

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“It’s a fantastic achievement,” said Artell to BBC Radio Humberside. “If you manage 250 appearances in your whole career that is good going and [Harry Clifton] is still young enough to get another 250 in his career easily.

“He’s a great kid, works his socks off in training, is receptive and asks questions. He’s learning still but he wants to learn, and I have been nothing but impressed with him.”

Clifton is one of several Grimsby players out of contract in the summer, so this festive period has been and will continue to be crucial for those names playing for their futures with Artell still getting to know them after just a few weeks of being their head coach.

The future of own of Grimsby’s own will be one of the big talking points when the time comes for the club to decide on renewing his deal, with Artell staying he is on the right track currently.

“Our focus has been on preparing for January,” added Artell. ‘We will wait until the plans have progressed to where we want them to get to [before discussing new contracts].

“That is the decision we have made with regards to [Clifton] and all the other players who are out of contract in the summer. There is a long way to go but of course, he is [doing enough to earn a new deal]. We have to put our colours to the mast one way or the other.

“If you wait until April to do that with the players that you do want, then it will likely be too late, so we have to make decisions on those as soon as possible. However, because it has all been truncated with me only being here a few weeks with lots of games to play and a transfer window coming up, we will do it at the earlier available opportunity.”

Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/

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