By Richard Parks
Leeds United defender Liam Kitching has extended his loan at non-league outfit Harrogate Town after impressing during an initial spell, it has been announced.
The Championship giants confirmed on their official Twitter account and website on Friday that Kitching, 18, will spend the rest of the campaign at the National League North side after an initial 28-day period went well.
???? | Leeds United can confirm Harrogate Town have extended @Liamkitching48’s loan deal until the end of the season
The centre-back was a regular for the Under-23s at Leeds in the first half of this season and was included in the matchday squad for the FA Cup defeat against fourth-tier Newport County last.
Kitching has impressed at the non-league club and was on the score-sheet for Harrogate last weekend, helping them defeat Leamington 3-1 in the National League North.
Harrogate play in the sixth tier of English football and are on course to be promoted to the National League after accumulating 59 points this season to place them second in the National League North table, just two points adrift of leaders Salford City.
Speaking about the extension, Leeds United academy manager Adam Underwood said: “We’ve had really positive feedback on Liam’s performances at Harrogate Town and extending his loan until the end of the season is the right thing for his development at this time.”
Football Insider verdict:
It is a sensible move for Kitching to spend the rest of the season on loan, even though it is not immediately obvious why the deal was initially for a month rather than the remainder of the campaign. The teenager has an excellent opportunity to develop his game alongside and against senior players in a league where the standard is high enough to put him under pressure in matches that really mean something. Harrogate are chasing promotion to England’s fifth tier and the short journey across Yorkshire comes at an ideal time for Kitching, who has thrived after moving away from his age-group comfort zone at an age where he is ready to take the next step.
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