FC Halifax Town: Tomlinson believes his best is yet to come

Football - FC Halifax Town v Carlisle. Ben Tomlinson
Football - FC Halifax Town v Carlisle. Ben Tomlinson

Striker Ben Tomlinson believes the best is yet to come from him after enduring a nightmare time last season.

The forward made just nine appearances in the whole of the 2016-17 campaign, starting only twice.

His last goal in senior football came back in April 2016 when he scored for Barrow at Torquay.

But the ebullient 27-year-old has not let his goal drought dent his confidence and is convinced he will be back among the goals at The Shay.

“It’s frustrating (going so long without a goal) but I’ve had a frustrating time,” he said. “There’s nothing you can do about it.

“You get the hand you are dealt but I’ve just had some bad hands in the last year or so.

“Hopefully they’re all behind me now. I need to get my head back down and get back among the goals.

“But it’s playing that’s the big thing. I’ve not had a good stretch of games for a while but it will come.

“If you think about it too much you end up prolonging it because you put extra pressure on yourself.

“I’m not letting it affect me. The goals will come. I know I can do it and there’s no reason why i can’t do it again.

“Being injured is the worst part of it but I’ve come out of the other side of that now.

“I’ve been injured, I’ve got myself back fit and it’s been nice to start games again.

“The best is yet to come and hopefully Halifax fans will see a good player this season.”

Tomlinson has had a nomadic career, especially of late. He played for four clubs in his first seven seasons in the game, but Halifax is his sixth club in the last two years.

“I signed a two-year deal for Macclesfield when I was 21 and still very raw, half-thinking ‘I’ve got a year to find my feet in professional football’ but I scored five in my first nine games,” he recalled. “But then I broke my foot and I was out for a while.

“I had two good seasons at Lincoln and that got me a move to Barnet, but that didn’t go well, I didn’t settle there.

“I went out on loan to Grimsby for a month and did well but then they got their strikers back fit.

“I joined Tranmere for three months and then I joined Barrow. My old Lincoln boss Gary Simpson was assistant there and I enjoyed it and scored a few goals.

“I was on the transfer list at Barnet when I went back and it took me until November to get into the team and I started doing well.

“But I got injured, which is how it goes sometimes. I was supposed to be out for six months. I was on crutches over Christmas, I couldn’t do anything.

“But I went back into the gym in January, worked hard, and got myself fit and I played four months and two days after my injury for Carlisle.”

Tomlinson was released by Carlisle at the end of last season and came to Halifax on trial before agreeing a one-year deal with Billy Heath.

“Every cloud has a silver lining,” Tomlinson said of his peripatetic career. “I’m now very good at settling in with new people!

“I’ve only been at Halifax two minutes but I’ve settled in straight away.

“It’s all about life experience. You almost become used to putting yourself in that situation and you do learn from these things.

“It does have a knock-on effect on other things but as long as you learn from it it’s not so bad.

“I’m the type of character that likes to get stuck in. I won’t sit in a corner twiddling my thumbs until someone comes over the talk to me.

“The team spirit is really good at Halifax, everybody gets on. Someone’s always having a dig at someone so you’ve got to have your wits about you.”

With a fairly young squad at Billy Heath’s disposal, Tomlinson is one of the senior figures in the changing room.

“I’m a veteran now,” he added. “Matty Kosylo calls me ‘uncle’, I’m a senior professional. I’ve been a loud character over the years. I’ve mellowed a bit now, although I’ve still got fire in my belly.

“You do take up different roles. I’ve got to become the dad and look after the younger boys.”