FC Halifax Town: Defender Clarke happy to be still out on the pitch

Nathan Clarke in action against Ebbsfleet last Saturday. 'Picture: Andy Jones/KMG
Nathan Clarke in action against Ebbsfleet last Saturday. 'Picture: Andy Jones/KMG

Had things worked out differently, Nathan Clarke would never have scored his wonder-goal at Ebbsfleet.

The veteran defender was interviewed for the manager’s job at The Shay this summer before the appointment of Pete Wild, having taken temporary charge of the team along with head of youth development Steve Nichol.

But he has taken his usual place in the centre of defence alongside Matty Brown for Town’s opening two games of the season, and looked as calm and composed as usual.

“At the time it was all excitement, but to be able to do what I did last Saturday, I wouldn’t have had the chance,” he said, referring to his free-kick from inside the Halifax half in added time last Saturday.

“I still feel as if I can give a lot to the team playing, and the information bouncing off each other with myself, Browny, the new manager and Chris (Millington, assistant manager), it’s nice to be part of that, and moving forward, like I’ve said before, it’s something that I’m looking at.

“But whilst I still feel fit and healthy enough to keep coming out and playing 90 minutes, then I’m really happy to be doing that.”

Wild has said he will lean on the likes of Clarke and Brown for help and advice.

“He’s only had a week or two, which isn’t a long time, so you need to use what you’ve got in the squad,” Clarke said.

“Myself and Browny know the lads really well, they’re a great group, which I told the manager when I first met him.

“What he’s got is a good, honest group, and a hard-working group. Certainly the new lads that have come in have bought straight into that, and know exactly what needs to be done.”

Clarke’s first impression of Wild has been overwhelmingly positive.

“He’s really good, really organised, really structured,” said the defender.

“He’s not had long to come in and stamp his style but the games we’ve played, he’s keeping talking to us and trying to encourage his points across, and the lads have certainly grasped it.

“Certainly the new lads who have come in have done really well.

“He’s very clever, he obviously knows his stuff, he’s been in coaching game a long time now.

“Him and Chris work well together, bouncing off each other. He’s just very open, very honest, and wants the same from us.

“And if we do that, we’ve got half a chance.”