HARROGATE Town chairman Bill Fotherby says he would still like to move the side to Claro Road after the rugby club announced it had secured a 20-acre plot of greenbelt land near Knaresborough.

After announcing Town would be remaining at its current Wetherby Road base for the "foreseeable future", an enthused Fotherby nevertheless admitted a move to the home of Harrogate Rugby Club would be a "dream come true".

Town have, for the time being, ditched plans to move a 3,300-seat stand lock, stock and barrel from Darlington's former Feethams ground and will instead concentrate on improvements to ensure Wetherby Road meets Conference standards.

With Town flying high in fourth in Conference North and boasting one of the best defensive records in English football, Fotherby says he's convinced the club is going to be promoted.

Although he says only minor work is needed to bring the ground up to scratch, Fotherby is still dreaming of a new stadium for manager Neil Aspin and his players.

The rugby club sold Claro Road to Crest Homes in 1999 for £7.2 million, with the development company set to take over ownership in December 2009.

But Harrogate Council has earmarked the area for recreational use as part of the local development framework - meaning it's unlikely to grant any planning applications for housing.

That's given Fotherby the impetus he needs to stake a claim to the 11-acre site, even though the rugby outfit is still likely to occupy the ground for the next two years.

Fotherby had considered a groundshare with the rugby club in the past but last month appeared to rule out the plan, indicating that an upgrade of Wetherby Road was the way to go.

But now he seems to have revived his Claro connection, and he's convinced he'll soon have a football team to match his stadium ambitions.

"If the rugby club does move what's going to happen to Claro Road? It could be a possibility," he said. "It would be a dream. Claro Road would be a dream come true.

"We would bring it up to football standards and it would be magnificent for us. You wouldn't recognise it. I sincerely believe that we're going to win through to the Conference. I really do believe it. Harrogate Town have conceded only 17 goals all season.

"That gives me a great deal of confidence in the team as every tactician in the world knows that you start from the defence."