Clarke anxious to gain third chance

CENTRAL defender Chris Clarke is hoping it is third time lucky as he fights to earn a contract at the Shay.

The 25-year-old Leeds-born player is back in Halifax at the invitation of Town boss Chris Wilder.

And he knows time is running out if he is to re-impose himself at a decent level after playing Unibond League Division One football with Guiseley last season.

"The gaffer invited me to come back and it is up to me to take my chance," said Clarke, who first signed from Wolves in August 1999 along with brother Matthew, when Mark Lillis was in charge.

"I know that I have to keep going. I still have a lot to prove."

Clarke signed for Blackpool for a reported 120,000 after his first stint at the Shay. He also turned out for Cambridge and was on loan at York when Wilder decided to give him another chance last year.

Things didn't quite work out for Clarke then so he is hoping that situation changes this time around.

"I have known the boss for some time and he knows what kind of player I am," added Clarke. "We played in the same team together to start with and he brought me back from York when he became manager.

"I have travelled around a bit and played for Guiseley last season. But I still want to play at the highest level possible and this is the chance for me to do that."

Clarke has no problem re-treading old ground and has already impressed the boss in pre-season displays against Brighouse Town and Wakefield FC.

"I know a lot of the players, which makes it a little bit easier to settle in," added Clarke.

"I am looking forward to the challenge. My ambition has to be to try and secure a long term contract with Halifax and take it from there.

"It would be great if I could do that and then the club get promoted. I know that is a big ask after going so close last season, but the gaffer has experience and knows what he is doing.

"He has brought in some new faces and they are working well with the older ones.

"Everybody is confident at this stage. It is early days still as far as I am concerned, but I will knuckle down and see what happens."