FC Halifax Town: "I just want to keep building" - Pete Wild on his new contract, the Town squad and foundations for the future

Town manager Pete Wild says the foundations are in place for The Shaymen to progress to the next level after agreeing a new two-year deal.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 9:13 pm
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

Wild and assistant manager Chris Millington joined Halifax in summer 2019 and their new deals will keep them at The Shay for a further two years.

"I'm delighted," Wild said, "it's all been pretty smooth, very amicable on both sides and really pleased to be here for another couple of years."

Attention now turns to agreeing deals with members of Wild's squad now that the manager's future has been resolved.

"We spoke to the players yesterday (Thursday) about it and said we'd try and sit down and talk to them as quickly as possible, try and make sure they've got a road map of what they need to do, so yeah, we want to do that as quickly as possible," Wild said.

Wild says around half the squad are out of contract this summer, and says some players have deals that could be extended.

When asked if he was confident he would be able to retain the players he wants to keep, Wild said: "You never know do you, you never know who's been in their ear, you never know what their expectations are.

"Obviously we've had no fans for 12 months so there's no new money, so that's always the conversations you've got to have with the players, and we'll be having that over the next few weeks."

Reflecting on his two years in charge, the Town boss said: "I think we've put a structure and foundations in place, a one-club mentality, and we've built a structure in terms of recruitment and a structure in terms of how we want to do things, a performance-plan, and I think you're seeing a lot of that this year.

"I feel a lot more composed and comfortable within myself because I know the structure's there and there's a platform and a process to work from."

When asked what he's most pleased about from his time in charge so far, Wild said: "I think it's just building the foundations of a solid structure of a football club that's now gearing itself for the next level, and preparing to work on the next level. I think those foundations are in place now, which is great."

On his squad, Wild said: "We would like to keep the majority of the squad, and if the majority agree, then fantastic because we're only sprinkling on the top. We don't want to be going through the process we went through last year, some of that was not our doing, financially what some players wanted was out of our reach, and that will be something that will come into the equation again this year.

"If some of the players are out of our reach, we're lucky enough that we have a plan in place for who the next one is to roll through the door."

Wild said it is a balancing act between focusing on the current season but also thinking ahead to next term.

"You have to spin two plates because we have aspirations of not being in this league next year, so you need to plan with two hats," he said.

"Utopia is we're not in this league next year, and if we are in this league next year then we have to recruit accordingly.

"That's the balancing act you have to live with."

Wild added: "I just want to keep building, keep progressing as a football club. Me and Chris were looking back over the two years the other day and we're really pleased with what we've put in place.

"Do we think we're anywhere near doing what we set out to achieve? No, but we feel like we've given it a good, solid base now that we can build from.

"I think they've been two absolutely chaotic seasons haven't they, we've managed through a pandemic, which I never thought would be the first thing we'd have to deal with.

"You look back and think 'yeah, it's been a successful period' but there's so much more to do and, especially in football, you can't rest on your laurels. If you do, you're only as good as your last game and people will judge you, rightly or wrongly, in the short-term and not the long-term."

When asked if he had a message for the club's supporters, Wild said: "We can't wait to have you back, we can't wait to continue our journey with you, I hope you can see progress in the team, it isn't going to be plain-sailing, you don't just go out and win every week.

"There will be bumps in the road but I hope we've given you faith to see that when there are bumps in the road, we can adjust and come back from them.

"I'd encourage everybody to keep a pragmatic head on. Pragmatism's what's got us this far over the two years and that's how we'll continue to lead."