Town Captain Matty Brown spoke to Kelly Gilchrist following FC Halifax Town’s 1-1 draw against Doncaster Rovers.
He said: “It’s been a good break. Personally it’s always good to have some down time and reflect on the season. We’ve come back and the lads have kept themselves in shape over the summer and fitness is really showing. The sessions have been high intensity and they have come through it well. We’ve had the disappointing news with the manager. It’s not ideal but it is what it is. We can’t use it as an excuse. We’ll be going about our business as normal. We’re not going to lie we are short on numbers still. We’ve still got to go about our job professionally. It could be better but you’ve got to deal with the hand you’re dealt. The sooner we get a manager in the better.”
With Jamie Fullarton leaving on Monday, Nathan Clarke stepped up to take charge of the game. Brown admits it would weird having his centre back partner as manager.
He said: “It would be a weird one for me. I love playing with Clarke. I’ve said it countless times I’ve got the upmost respect for him. He’s a top man. A better person than he is a player. He’s a local lad and already he’s been in charge 12-14 hours. He has taken to it like a duck to water. He’s got his contacts in for the game. Clarke’s an utter professional. If it was to be Nathan, I’m sure there are a lot of interviews going on, I’d be excited to play under him. He is seen as a role model.”
Clarke was the only player in the Vanarama National League to play every minute of last season. Brown acknowledge how much of an influence he is, especially on younger players.
He said: “You don’t play the games he’s played and to the age he is if you don’t do the right things. For these young lads who are coming through now, you just need to look at Clarke as he’s a perfect ambassador for the club. We are lucky to have him at the club. The influence in the dressing room, he’s a calming influence. He’s been there, seen there, and done it. He brings a lot to the table.”
Town have so far signed Jack Earing, Will Appleyard, Jamie Allen, and Tobi Sho-Silva. Brown has been impressed with what he has seen so far from all the new lads.
He said: “In training it has been pretty limited. A lot has been running based. The game Saturday was the first real glimpse and I thought especially Jack Earing stood out. You can see straight away he’s two footed. You can see his pedigree shining through. Big Tobi is going to be a handful. He’s fast, quick, and powerful. Good finisher along with Jamie.”
Brown missed the game against Farsley Celtic due a slight concern with his back. This was just a precaution and he was pleased to get some minutes against Doncaster.
He said: “On Friday I felt a bit of a twinge in my back. It was more precaution than anything. I could’ve played the game but we felt there was nothing to gain from playing on that pitch. It was just a sensible decision made, there is nothing to worry about. Tonight was a good little run out. The lads have applied themselves well.”
With Brown missing Farsley, Josh Staunton stepped up to replace him at centre back. Scoring the only goal that game. Brown was impressed with what he saw.
He said: “He’s unlucky not to have played more minutes. When he has come in he’s done really well. He’s very mature for his age, very intelligent. You might see a lot more of Josh now. Tonight was a good run out. They’re a good side. They move the ball well. It’s a totally different test to what we’re going to face in our league. Its minutes in the legs. Any chance you get to get minutes on the pitch is good.”
Due to issues with the Shay pitch, Saturday’s fixture against Darlington will now be played at Blackwell Meadows. Brown is happy to get more minutes despite the circumstances.
He said: “It’s more minutes. They’ll be a truer reflection for the National League. It’ll be a lot more physical I’d imagine. It would’ve be nice to play it at the Shay. We’ve just got to get on with it. There’s nothing we can do about it now. We’ve just got to make it as professional as possible. Make the long trip to Darlington and go about it in the right way.”
Town’s final preseason friendly comes against Salford City. Having been promoted last season, Brown is pleased with the test against opposition that have really grown over the last few years.
He said: “Well they’ve thrown the chequebook at it and you’re always going to get criticism for it. People want to see them fail. You’ve got to give credit to them, they got the job done. Like it or lump it, it’s a tough league to get out of. They got the job done which was their objective. I think they’d have taken the way they did it at the start of the season. They’re only going to go from strength to strength because they’ve got the resources.”
The Shaymen travel to Ebbsfleet United for the opening game of the season. Whilst Brown would have liked to have been at home, he accepts we have to go there at some point.
He said: “I’d probably prefer to have been at home. But then you look at Braintree, we got off to a 2-0 win. You’ve got to go to these places so you’d probably rather go when the weather’s nice. Everyone’s got to play everyone at some point. We’ve got to about ourselves in the right way and make sure we hit the ground running.”
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