FC Halifax Town: “I’m absolutely loving it” - Spence slotting seamlessly into Shaymen team
It says much for Kian Spence’s ability and potential that he has slipped so smoothly into the FC Halifax Town team.
Spence says he is growing in confidence with every game after starting the last seven matches in a row for The Shaymen.
The 20-year-old, who joined Town last October, had to wait patiently for his breakthrough after suffering a bad knee injury.
But having secured a first-team spot, Spence has looked at home in the Town midfield.
“I’m absolutely loving it,” he said.
“This is what I wanted, obviously the first game of the season I wasn’t even involved in the squad, so going from that at the start to the run me and the team are on now, it’s exactly what I wanted.
“I’ve always said that I’m a very confident person in my abilities.
“You always have that bit of doubt in your mind before you’ve played at a level, can I do this?
“Until you’ve done it, you’ve played and you’ve done what you thought you could do, it’s all a bit tongue in cheek.
“But I think I’ve started seven games now and I’m just growing in confidence more and more with each game.”
Spence says his run of games is helping the Halifax fans to see what type of player he is.
“Last season every time I played I played as a number ten, I didn’t play once in centre mid, which people can see now is my main position,” he said.
“So not just with them seeing me in my (best) position but me having a run of games, they can see what type of player and character I am on the pitch.”
But Spence says he is not taking his starting spot for granted.
“It’s easy to get swept away now that I’ve had a good few games under my belt, and if I say so myself, I think I’ve done quite well, it’s easy for me now to think ‘that’s me done’.
“But all it takes is one bad game, or someone else to come in and do well, to be out for a while.
“I can look at it from other people’s perspective because when I was out of the team, I was dying to get my chance, so I’ve just got to keep reverting back to remembering what it was like when I wasn’t playing and just appreciating when I get the chance to go out on the pitch.”
Spence only has to look at the sidelines to see how tough a job he has to keep his place, with Martin Woods and Luke Summerfield vying for a place.
“I remember when I wasn’t playing thinking ‘how the heck am I going to get a game with how good these players are in my position?’” he said.
“So just because I’ve started a few games doesn’t change the fact of how good all the other three lads in my position are.
“So I know if my levels drop off at all, they’re going to come in and do an absolutely fantastic job and it’s going to be difficult for me to get my shirt back, because I’m sure their levels aren’t going to drop.”
The 20-year-old has shown an impressive maturity and composure in the often crowded midfield of the pitch for someone so young, constantly receiving the ball off the Halifax defence and instigating attacks.
“It’s the job of a midfielder, especially with how we play, how we move it about, even more so this season,” he said.
“We play really good, attractive football, moving it quick, moving it between the lines, I think that’s why we’re doing so well but also that’s why we’re getting more people watching and enjoying coming to watch us, because we do play like that.
“If me, or whoever’s playing in midfield, don’t do that, it’s a lot harder for us to do that.
“I’ve just love being on the ball, it’s the best part of the game when you’re on the football.
“There’s 21 other lads on the pitch so you’ve got to relish your time when you’re on the football.
“The more I can get on it, whether that’s off the back lads or anyone, I’m happy.”
Spence says he works as hard as he can away from the pitch to aid his chances of getting as much game time as possible.
“I’m quite big on that, I’m always getting in early to training and staying later to keep my body right,” he said.
“Especially now I’m playing more, it’s more key than ever to stay fit and available because the more games you’re available for, the more chance you’ve got of playing.
“I’ve focused more this season on making sure my body is right in terms of injury prevention.
“It is a big part of things.”
Spence is under no illusions that another spell on the sidelines could be round the corner, so is enjoying his time in the team.
“You play football because you love it, so you’ve got to enjoy playing, I’ve got to enjoy this period while I’m in the team because there’s no point playing if you’re not going to enjoy it,” he said.
“But you do have to keep reverting back to what you’ve got to do. You can’t get carried away, you’ve got to remember what you’re doing to keep your shirt because football can change rapidly.
“It’s only a month ago since I made my first start, so a month in football is nothing. I’ve got a lot of games under my belt but give it another month and you don’t know what can happen.
“I’ve got to enjoy myself because this is what I’ve been excited about for the past year, but I’ve got to keep my feet on the ground and keep improving to make sure I can keep enjoying it in the months to come.”