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Pre-Season: A Roundup So Far

Posted by FC Halifax Town
Posted on Thu 27 Aug 2020
Posted in First Team

It has been a summer of change at The Shay with various incomings and departures. So far, Pete Wild has added eight new players to the squad – with ten leaving.

During July we issued the retained list, which saw goalkeeper Sam Johnson and midfielder Jack Earing under contract and remaining at the Club.

Long-serving defender and Captain, Matty Brown who is also under contract was placed on the transfer list as he could not commit to the extra day of training for the 20/21 campaign. Jacob Hanson was also placed on the Clubs available list.

Jay Benn who had been promoted from the youth team also remains at the Club; the 19-year-old defender was with the squad for the Play-Off eliminator. However, he was one of three players who did not make the matchday squad – alongside Hanson and Josh MacDonald (released, and now at Hartlepool United).

As mentioned, long-serving midfielder, MacDonald, was released at the end of his contract, and he was joined by Jack Redshaw (now at York City), Will Appleyard, Jerome Binnom-Williams & Liam Nolan in departing the Club after the publication of the list.

The further five players who went on to leave Town were Michael Duckworth (York City), Josh Staunton (Yeovil Town), Tobi Sho-Silva (Sutton United), Charlie Cooper & Cameron King. The quintet all turned down to new deals.

This led to the ‘Shaymen’ having offers remaining for Niall Maher, Nathan Clarke, Jeff King, Danny Williams & Jamie Allen. Allen and Clarke both signed new contracts first – two years and one year, respectively.

Another year was then accepted by King, before Maher picked up a two-year deal, with Williams adding another season at The Shay to his CV.

It was then time for new signings, with Jake Hyde being the first new addition to the squad. Hyde is a 30-year-old striker, who scored 16 league goals for Woking last season. A well fought after man, however, Hyde did quote that he had many reasons to sign for FC Halifax Town.

The busiest day of the window so far was last Tuesday when three new players were announced, the first of the trio was striker, Matty Stenson – signing after leaving Solihull Moors. The former Coventry City youth player had previously been with Leamington, Telford United and Barwell.

Stenson has an interesting story, he suffered a hip injury which kept him out for two-and-a-half-years and went through an operation which had a 50/50 chance of success – it worked and now he is at the top of his game.

The second signing of the day was Martin Woods, who’s had a 17-year playing career. He started off his journey at Leeds United, before permanent moves to Sunderland and Rotherham United. It was then in 2007, the midfielder, signed for Doncaster Rovers where he spent seven years.

A brief period at Barnsley followed before the 34-year-old went back to his native Scotland to have two spells at Ross County – in-between time at Shrewsbury Town. Woods was a starter in Ross County’s team that won the 2016 Scottish League Cup. He later went on to play for Partick Thistle and Dundee, before becoming a Shayman.

The third and final addition on the day was Kieran Green from York City. Green, an attack-minded midfielder made 37 appearances and scored four goals for York in their campaign last season.

He helped the team reach the Vanarama National League North Play-Offs and was a big part in their run of good form across the season. The 23-year-old has also had permanent stints at Hartlepool, Gateshead and Blyth Spartans.

Town’s fifth signing of the transfer window came a day later, as Reuben Noble-Lazarus entered the building. Noble-Lazarus was a player Wild tried to sign before the COVID-19 break, and the 27-year-old went down on social media as another exciting signing.

Noble-Lazarus became the youngest player to debut in the Football League at 15 years and 45 days in 2008. The Huddersfield-born winger started his career with Barnsley – making 46 league appearances and scoring 3 goals. He later had loan spells with Scunthorpe United and Rochdale; at the latter, his loan became permanent.

Reuben made 50 appearances for the ‘Dale’ and left the club in July 2017. Unfortunately, an injury stopped him from finding a new club right-away, however, since October 2018; the former football league man has played for Chorley and Golcar United.

The sixth recruit Wild made is Luke Summerfield – the midfielder is the 3rd signing who has played for York City previously – Hyde being the other, alongside Green. Both Summerfield and Hyde were at York together and were there between 2014 and 2016.

The 32-year-old experienced head signed for Halifax after two years with Wrexham where he made 63 Vanarama National League appearances. Summerfield has clubs such as Plymouth Argyle, AFC Bournemouth and Shrewsbury on his CV.

It was then time for the signing of Jack Senior, who added to the list of players born in Halifax – he started his youth career with Elland Juniors, later going on to Huddersfield Town. However, it was at Luton Town where the left-back got his break in professional football – playing 10 games in League Two.

He left Luton at the end of the 2018/19 season and spent the last campaign with Gloucester City in the National League North.

Senior signed a one-year deal, as did Summerfield, Noble-Lazarus, Green and Woods. Centre forwards Hyde and Stenson both put pen to paper on two-year contracts.

Town then bolstered their defence when signing Tom Bradbury this week. Bradbury made 16 appearances for Yeovil Town last season on a one-year deal. The 22-year-old is another to have played for York and Dundee, previously.


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