FC Halifax Town: “I’ll be patient” says Wild on pursuit of new signings

Town boss Pete Wild says he will continue to be patient in his pursuit of new signings.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 2:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 2:36 pm
Pete Wild. Guiseley AFC v FC Halifax Town. Pre season friendly. Nethermoor Park. 3rd August 2021. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The Shaymen have so far added four new faces to their squad this summer in Billy Waters, Harvey Gilmour, Matt Warburton and Jordan Slew, who all played in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win at Guiseley.

“Warby’s been on the cards for a long while,” Wild said of attacking midfielder Warburton.

“When Jack Earing went, I knew who I was getting.

“Warby played League One football, and bringing a League One player to The Shay, that’s what we’re all about.

“He’s a good footballer, he’s a good character, and he’s got more experience than Jack Earing.

“Between him and Harvey Gilmour, let’s not discredit Harvey, we’ve got some exciting talent there.”

And on forward Slew, who helped Morecambe to promotion from League Two last season, Wild said: “Every report that came back on Jordan has said he’s a top player, works hard, we were looking for somebody who could play left of a front three or middle of a front three, and he can do both.

“Everybody you talk to says it’s a no-brainer for this level, what a player.

“He fits the character and the profile of what we want to be.”

When asked what Slew’s best position was, Wild said: “I’d say left of a front three, but can play central as well.”

Wild says his best-laid plans have had to be altered at various points during the close season.

“Things move quickly, things change quickly, and they have done over this pre-season, probably more than I’ve ever known,” he said.

“But we’ll just keep moving along, keep being patient, we have what we have.

“We’ve tried to reinvest, it’s not happened yet, it’s not worked out for us yet but it will at some point.

“But what we’ve got in the building’s good enough already.”

Wild said three of the four trialists he had previously earmarked as potential signings are still with the club, but that plans for a replacement for centre-back Neill Byrne have changed.

“We were talking to a few defenders but we decided not to pursue them,” he said.

“We’ve had the young lad in tonight (Tuesday), he’s been excellent, and we’ll see how he does on Saturday.”

One of the trialists who is set to play against Fylde on Saturday is thought to be former Bradford City forward Billy Clarke.

Wild said there is money available to pay a fee for a player if needed.

“The chairman’s made it quite clear that we can reinvest the money, we’ve tried to, it’s not worked out yet for us,” he said.

“There’s people in our league offering more than we’re offering, but we ain’t just going to throw the money at the first thing that comes along, they have to fit us, fit the profile, fit the club, and if we find that right one, then we’ll bring them in.”

The Town boss says the departures of Byrne and Jake Hyde could potentially mean greater freedom within his wage budget.

“Or we might feel we might want a bit of a bigger squad so we don’t feel we’re having to scrat around when we need to, they’re the two options,” he said.

“I’d like to think I’ll know more by Saturday tea-time, but I’ll be patient, I’ll sign them when I feel like they’re giving us what I want from them.”

As it stands, Town’s visit to Fylde on Saturday is their final pre-season game.

“There will be one (other),” said Wild, “we’re having problems with the pitch at The Shay, which is not helping us.

“We have a team to play, but nowhere to play them.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game, Wild said: “I want to see more of what I’ve seen on Tuesday, I want to see us finish our chances, and if we do that and play at the levels we played, then I think it’ll be a really good game.

“Fylde are obviously going to be one of the favourites for the league below and that’s why we wanted to play them.

“I’m excited about watching my team again.”

Defenders Jay Benn and Niall Maher both missed Tuesday’s win at Guiseley, but are expected to return at Fylde.

“Jay’s picked up a slight quad strain but he’s been out running, and he should feature on Saturday,” Wild said.

“Niall had a sore groin. He ended up having to play 75 minutes on Friday night, so we’ve given him a break, you can’t slog them too hard, too early.

“That gave a chance for the two trialists to show us what they can do, and Bradders (Tom Bradbury) took one to the cheek, we’ll see where he’s at.”

Benn, along with fellow youngsters Kian Spence and Dom Tear, didn’t feature much last season, but Wild says all three could be more regular starters this season.

“They’re like three new players, they’re ready, all three of them,” he said.

“They’ll be involved, they’re fighting for spots. Why go out and buy players when we’re developing our own here.

“All three of them are ready and I can’t wait to see them play in the National League this year.

“We’d like to think, with one of the trialists, we’ve got the new Kian Spence, so we might do that again.

“What me and Chris want to do is create a production line here, and create players so that there’s production line for the next five or six years.”

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