Harsley playing for North Ferriby United in 2011
|Full name||Paul Harsley|
|Date of birth||29 May 1978|
|Place of birth||Scunthorpe, England|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
Manchester City EDS|
|2009-2010||-> Darlington (loan)||3||(0)|
|2010||-> York City (loan)||9||(1)|
|2010-2012||North Ferriby United||56||(7)|
|2018-||Manchester City EDS|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He played as a midfielder from 1996 until 2012, and made 583 league and cup appearances, scoring 52 goals. He spent the majority of his career in the English Football League, though also had spells in the Conference Premier and Northern Premier League.
His professional footballing career began at Grimsby Town in 1996, though he switched to Scunthorpe United a year later, without having appeared for Grimsby. He spent four seasons with the club, racking up 128 league appearances, before moving to Halifax Town. In 2002, he transferred to Northampton Town, and after a couple of years he moved on again to Macclesfield Town. In 2006, he signed with Port Vale, yet again he stayed just two years, though did pick up a Player of the season award before signing with Chesterfield. In 2010, he left Chesterfield, having been largely unsuccessful, and spending much of his time on loan at Darlington and York City. He finished his career in non-League football with a two-year spell at North Ferriby United. In total he made 500 league and 83 cup appearances, scoring 52 goals. He was named as Player of the Year at Scunthorpe United (1999), Northampton Town (2003), Macclesfield Town (2005), and Port Vale (2008).
He coached at Scunthorpe United, Birmingham City and Barnsley, and was appointed Barnsley's caretaker-manager in February 2018.
Born in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, Harsley started his career at the Grimsby Town youth system as a trainee and signed a professional contract on 16 July 1996. He moved to his hometown club Scunthorpe United 7 July 1997, having not appeared for Grimsby's first team.
He broke into Scunthorpe's first team on 20 September 1997, aged 18, in a 1-0 defeat at Barnet, replacing Alejandro Calvo García as a late substitute. His first season was quite successful, as he made fifteen appearances in all, scoring his first professional goal against Exeter City. His second season with the club was to prove far more prolific however. He made 42 appearances as his club won promotion via the Third Division play-off Final at the end of the 1998-99 season. The final itself took place at Wembley Stadium on his 21st birthday, where they defeated Leyton Orient 1-0. He was also given the club's Player of the Year award, the Ernie Storey Memorial Trophy.
Harsley was an ever-present for Scunthorpe's Second Division season, though he was unable to help the club avoid relegation in 23rd place. He maintained his first team spot in 2000-01, but was released by the club at the end of the season, subsequently joining Halifax Town on a free transfer on 1 July 2001.
He spent one season at Halifax; which proved to be highly successful on an individual level, with Harsley ending up as their top scorer with twelve goals from fifty games; however the team performed extremely poorly and they were relegated out of the English Football League, a full nine points below Bristol Rovers. Throughout the campaign he was linked with big money moves to First Division clubs, but nothing came of the speculation.
Unwilling to play in the Conference, in June 2002 Harsley moved on to Northampton Town, again on a free transfer. He was highly productive throughout the 2002-03 season, making 51 appearances in all competitions and picking up the club's Player of the Year award. However, he suffered his third relegation in four years, as Northampton dropped out of the Second Division in last place, 11 points from safety.
Although he started the 2003-04 season at Northampton, on 13 February 2004 he moved to Third Division rivals Macclesfield Town. He helped them to avoid relegation, before a signing a two-year contract in May 2004. A successful season followed in 2004-05, when his club made the play-offs, finishing ahead of eighth place Darlington on goal difference. Despite ever-present Harsley scoring in the play-off semi-final, Macclesfield were knocked out by Lincoln City. At the end of the campaign he was handed the club's Player of the Year award. The following season proved to be a disappointing one, with Macclesfield again fighting relegation. Harsley managed to make 45 league appearances, making 55 appearances in all competitions.
Harsley moved to League One Port Vale on a free transfer for the start of the 2006-07 season. A quiet season for both club and player, he made a total of forty appearances. Vale were relegated in the 2007-08 season, and the club's misfortune on the pitch began to depress Harsley. Though the season had its high points for Harsley as he was captain of the side and also player of the year.
At the end of the season he was out of contract, and decided to move on after turning down a new deal at Vale Park and instead signed for Chesterfield. He failed to impress in 2008-09, making less than 20 appearances all told. By February 2009 he was put on the transfer list by manager Lee Richardson.
After starting the 2009-10 campaign just as poorly, he signed for Darlington on loan for three months on 26 November 2009, along with teammate Danny Hall. He played just three games for the club. He joined Conference Premier side York City on loan until the end of the season in March 2010, teaming up with his former Vale manager Martin Foyle. He made his first start in a 1-0 victory over Mansfield Town on 16 March, and scored his first York goal with the opener in a 4-0 victory over Grays Athletic. He finished the loan spell with nine appearances and one goal for York, helping them to a play-off position. Chesterfield announced that he would not be offered a new contract at the end of the season.
Harsley trialled with Northern Premier League Premier Division team North Ferriby United in July 2010 and he signed for them in August. He helped them to a play-off finish in 2010-11, though they lost out 2-0 to Colwyn Bay in the play-off semi-finals. He made 41 appearances in both league and cup games, before retiring in January 2012.
Harsley was appointed as Centre of Excellence co-ordinator at Scunthorpe United in January 2011. In August 2015 he began working with Steve Spooner at the Birmingham City Academy. In October 2016, Harsley was appointed as Senior Professional Development Coach at Barnsley, with the responsibility of coaching the club's under-23 team. On 6 February 2018, Harsley was named as caretaker-manager at Barnsley following Paul Heckingbottom's move to Leeds United. He managed the South Yorkshire derby between the "Tykes" and Sheffield Wednesday four days later, leading the team to a 1-1 draw at Oakwell. On 16 February, José Morais was named as Barnsley's new permanent manager. On 12 June 2018, Harsley was appointed EDS manager at Manchester City.
|Club||Season||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Scunthorpe United||1997-98||Third Division||15||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||15||1|
|Halifax Town||2001-02||Third Division||45||11||3||1||1||0||1[a]||0||50||12|
|Northampton Town||2002-03||Second Division||45||2||3||1||1||0||2[a]||0||51||3|
|Macclesfield Town||2003-04||Third Division||16||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||16||2|
|Port Vale||2006-07||League One||32||1||2||0||4||0||2[a]||0||40||1|
|Darlington (loan)||2009-10||League Two||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0|
|York City (loan)||2009-10||Conference Premier||9||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||1|
|North Ferriby United||2010-11||Northern Premier Division||32||4||4||0||0||0||5||2||41||6|
|2011-12||Northern Premier Division||24||3||2||0||0||0||6||1||32||4|
|Barnsley (caretaker)||6 February 2018||16 February 2018||1||0||1||0||0.0|