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Niall Maher: An Opportunity I Couldn’t Turn Down

Posted by FC Halifax Town
Posted on Thu 8 Mar 2018
Posted in Interviews

New FC Halifax Town signing Niall Maher says the opportunity to join the Shaymen was one he “couldn’t turn down.”

Maher, who joins after recently spending time with AFC Telford United of the Vanarama National League North, is a versatile defender who has previous experience of working with manager Jamie Fullarton during his career.

For this reason, the 22-year-old believes that he has been able to settle in well after a week’s training and is ready and raring to go.

“When I was at Bolton in the Under 21s Jamie was my manager, so I know how much of a professional he is. Coming back to work with someone who you know and have a good understanding and relationship with was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

“I’m coming into a club where I don’t really know anyone, other than Connor Oliver who I played with at Blackpool. To come in and already know the manager helps you to settle in more. I have a good understanding of that which stands me in good stead.”

During his career so far, Maher has added SkyBet Football League experience to his CV, with clubs such as Blackpool and Bury. The defender says this experience along with his versatility will be good assets for him to bring to the side.

“I prefer centre back because that’s where I think I’m best at, but I can vary. I played numerous games in the football league in every defensive position so I’m versatile. I’m happy to do a shift wherever the manager puts me.

“Coming from the football league and being at a young age, I feel like I have a leader within myself. I like to get on the ball and play but I also like to be an aggressive, front footed defender by getting in and around players to ruffle them up.”

The signing of Maher comes after what has been a hectic couple of weeks for him since joining Telford last month. The former Bolton man had known about the interest from the Shaymen during that time, although he had to wait for the right moment to make the move.

“It’s been a strange couple of weeks. I signed for Telford in the middle of February and was just waiting for international clearance. In a matter of three days I got the clearance, played for Telford and then left with the interest from Halifax. It all came soon.

“I’ve worked with Jamie before, so we have kept in contact. He told me that there might be an interest in the next couple of weeks, so I just had to wait and see. It was a matter of getting the manager appointed and then going from there.

“When I knew the interest was there it was something I was looking forward to, and then Jamie got the job, so it was even more of a delight for me to work with him again.”

With some training with his new teammates already under his belt, Maher has put himself in contention for a place in the squad for Saturday’s trip to Woking FC.

After meeting the lads this week, he says there was only positive things to say about the club, making it the perfect move for him.

“They’re a good group and you can see there is a togetherness there. With the position we’re in, we have a good group who are willing to work hard under the new manager.

“They have been very welcoming to me. I know Halifax are a big club themselves, they’ve got a big pedigree and a bright future to come. The lads have said that. It’s a club going in the right direction, so I am happy to be a part of that.”

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