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First Team

AFC Telford: Player Spotlight

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Fri 16 Dec 2016
Posted in First Team

With the disappointment of an FA Cup exit firmly behind them, FC Halifax Town will return to Vanarama National League football with a home tie against AFC Telford United.

Back in September, the away fixture saw Town end a two-game losing streak as goals from Richard Peniket, against his former employers, and Liam King cancelled out Dwayne Samuels’ opener early on.

Currently sitting in 14th place, the Bucks have hit a run of poor form with defeats against Harrogate Town and Kidderminster Harriers in their last two games. However, they have the quality of squad to improve, and one man to watch out for is Gianluca Havern.  

Havern’s background shows he has a wealth of experience at this level after starting his career with Stockport County. Before making his debut in 2008, Havern was sent out on loan to Northern Premier League Premier Division sides Ashton United and Radcliffe Borough.

The experience had paid dividends by the time his debut came around. Havern not only started the match, he was also on hand to provide the only goal of the game ensuring that the three points provided Stockport with a fourth place finish that year.

However, with Stockport running into financial trouble in the following months, Havern was one of several players released to cut back on expenditure.

Following his release Havern was picked up by Mansfield Town of the Conference National at the time. Having made just four appearances, Havern ended a six-month spell by re-joining the club he left at the start of 2009.

Havern spent a season with Stockport in his second spell before an early contract settlement called time on his playing days with the club. He subsequently moved to Mossley, but not for long. After a month and six appearances, Havern joined Tameside rivals Ashton United.

During his time with Ashton, Havern’s side won the 2010/11 Northern Premier League Challenge Cup following a 1-0 victory over Northwich Victoria in the final.     

At the end of the season, Havern and teammate Ryan Crowther joined Hyde United then of the Conference North. That year, Hyde enjoyed their best start to a season winning the first ten matches and breaking the record for the best start in the Conference North.

By the end of the season, Hyde finished as champions and gained promotion to the Conference National for the first time in their history and amassing a record 90 points. Havern was an ever present in the squad, making over 30 appearances before being picked up by Altrincham.

His move to Altrincham would provide Havern with his longest spell at a club as a senior player. Making his debut in 2012, Havern went on to make 133 appearances for the Robins over a four-year period.

In July of this year, Havern joined AFC Telford as the club looked to improve on their 18th place finish last season, avoiding relegation by just one point.

So far, Havern has been in and out of the Bucks’ squad this season and was present when the Shaymen recorded their 2-1 victory at the New Bucks Head. The 28-year-old could be present in the starting eleven on Saturday, if so, his experience may prove hard to break down for Town.

If you cannot make it to the MBi Shay Stadium on Saturday, then there will be live updates and commentary available on the Shaymen Wall and Shaymen Player HD respectively. 

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist