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Shaun Harrad: Alfreton Town can emulate Burton Albion rise to the Football League

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

Burton Albion .v. Middlesbrough - FA Cup round 3....Shaun Harrad

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SHAUN Harrad reckons Alfreton Town can follow in Burton Albion’s footsteps as they have a crack at promotion to the Football League.

The 29-year-old striker signed a three-month contract at the Impact Arena last week after he was released by League Two Bury.

In his first appearance on Saturday he set one up and scored the winner from the spot in Alfreton’s 2-1 victory at Welling.

With the Reds third in the Conference table, former Albion promotion hero Harrad can see the similarities between the Brewers and Alfreton.

“Getting in the play-offs would be a massive achievement for the club,” said the former Notts County and Northampton front runner.

“It’s very similar to Burton when I signed for the club – the set-up is similar and we’re on a part-time basis.

“The lads are great and the manager is too.

“To get to the play-offs would be fantastic for the club and the fans. We’ll give it a real good go.”

Harrad’s move surprised a few in the game considering his goalscoring record in the Football League.

But the imminent birth of his and wife Amy’s first child was a major consideration – as was Nicky Law’s enthusiasm to sign him.

“The manager was really eager to get hold of me and that was a big part of me coming here,” he said.

“I had a few options, but with my wife Amy due to give birth any day now I also looked at the location – and that coupled with the manager’s enthusiasm made my mind up.”

Harrad, who netted 75 goals in five-and-a-half years with Burton, is keen to get back playing regular football after a frustrating spell at Bury, where he was loaned out twice, to Rotherham and Cheltenham.

He was initially concerned about dropping out of the Football League, but knows that playing regular games will get him noticed.

“I didn’t want to drop into the Conference but it’s a great opportunity for me to get some games between now and April and put myself in the shop window for the summer,” he said.

“I hope to get back into the league because I feel I still have a lot to offer in League Two.

“I still feel really good.

“I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve had that break of not starting many games, but I feel invigorated.

“It was really good to get out on the pitch on Saturday.

“It was a great performance all-round.

“I scored one and set the other up, so I’m pretty happy with that.

“Now my aim is to help Alfreton over the line and get myself some games and put my name out there.”

The move reunites Harrad with another Albion promotion hero from 2009, John McGrath, who is currently recovering from a serious knee injury.

“It’s really bad news for him personally but he’ll be back fighting fit, I’m sure of it,” said Harrad.

And away from football, the striker is looking forward to becoming a father.

“I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out at this point in my life,” he said. “Family comes first.

“I’m here for the birth and that’s a massive thing for me.”

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