A colourful character and popular individual within the FC Halifax Town squad, goalkeeper Phil Senior received a marvellous ovation from players and fans alike when replacing the injured Matt Glennon as a half-time substitute.
As Kidderminster Harriers peppered the goal with a range of attempts, Senior showcased his shot-stopping ability with a clutch of fine saves which ensured he received the man of the match award. Whilst excelling in difficult circumstances the former Ilkeston Town custodian drew on all of his experience to make sure that FC Halifax did not suffer a second home league defeat of the campaign:
“I think it is from past experiences really, I’m 31 years old and have vast experience of coming off the bench. You just have to be calm and back yourself to do your best and hopefully that’s what I did.
“It was just one of those games where you come on and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. It weren’t ideal preparation through the week and obviously with Matt coming off at half-time it’s not the best but I’m happy with my performance.”
Despite having been consigned to the bench in recent years Senior is far from a curmudgeon figure within the team as he underlined his loyalty and affection for both Neil Aspin and FC Halifax Town:
“It is frustrating when you’re not playing, people might think that I am happy to sit on the bench but I am not. I’m a very loyal person, the manager has been very loyal with me which is why I’ve been the same to him and the club.
“First and foremost it is the management really they’ve put a lot of time in with me and kept me here when really they could have easily gone down another route. I just think that the club is fantastic I was at Huddersfield for a very long time so I don’t like to jump between clubs I prefer to build a foundation and that’s what I’ve done here.”
Currently FC Halifax Town’s longest serving player, after signing in 2008, Senior has a special rapport with the club as he jokingly recollected about his outlook on the bench as he tried to usher an unsuspecting Marc Roberts in front of the camera as he walked out of the tunnel:
“It has just been a privilege to watch young players like Marc Roberts a big strong strapping lad. I kind of a get a thrill out of watching these players with a quiff and comb-overs like he’s got. Do you want to just come over here so they can have a look?” (Marc Roberts in background)
It is this wit and camaraderie by the 31 year-old stopper that personifies the unity and friendships within the group that has forged a strong team-spirit, an attribute according to Senior that will help Town in their quest for play-off success over Cambridge United:
“It’s not what we’ve expected it’s been better and that’s through team spirit. Cambridge are going into it with poor form we’re going into it with good form. You never know we were talking about it earlier we’ve beaten Grimsby two games on the bounce it could be a different scenario if you catch them, but you can’t really look into that you just have to concentrate on your own form. But with team spirit we’ve just got to try and get through two tough games.”
A member of the prevailing Huddersfield Town squad managed by former Shaymen Peter Jackson, that defeated Mansfield Town 4-1 on penalties in the third division play-off final in 2004. Senior is expecting a tense yet enjoyable week ahead as The Shaymen continue to exceed expectations:
“Fantastic I did it with Huddersfield, I went down to the Millennium Stadium and it’s just unbelievable. Very nervy for the players great occasion for the club. But we’ve got nothing to fear we’re in a position where we didn’t expect to be, teams will be fearing us I can promise you that. They wouldn’t have been happy if they had to play us in the play-offs and I’m sure Cambridge won’t so we’re just going to do what we usually do, craft hard and hopefully Greggers (Lee Gregory) can pop up and knock up and put a few in.”
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