FC Halifax Town: "I'm due something and we're due something" - Stenson dreaming of playing his part in promotion push

It would be some story if Matty Stenson was to play a pivotal role in FC Halifax Town's promotion push.

By Tom Scargill
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 9:23 am
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 9:25 am

Stenson has played more times for loan clubs, trying to regain form and fitness, than he has for Halifax since signing in the summer of 2020.

The striker's two seasons at The Shay have been beset by injuries, restricting him to just four appearances, the latest of which came as a substitute in Saturday's 1-0 loss at Southend United.

That defeat cut the gap from third-placed Town to fourth-placed Solihull to just two points with four games to go.

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Matty Stenson. Photo: Marcus Branston

Stenson knows more than most that football can be unpredictable, unreliable and uncompromising.

But despite all the adversity he has faced, the 28-year-old is unshaken in his belief that something good can still come from it all, and that maybe, just maybe, there is a fairtytale ending around the corner.

"That's what I dream about every night!" he said.

"I've had my down times, so I'm only looking up.

"Is it written in the stars that I come back and score the winner, or come back and help us get promoted, or even us just get promoted?

"I've had my bad time not playing, now I'm due something and we're due something, hopefully that's getting promoted."

Stenson's substitute appearance at Southend came more than three months after his previous Halifax game, when he started in the 4-0 win over Eastleigh in January.

"I felt good against Eastleigh but it was in the last 10 minutes of that game that I took a slight knock," he explained.

"It just set me back for six or seven weeks, and then it was a case of, because we're a team that's up there, once you come out of the team it's hard to get back in it.

"So I found myself struggling to get back in the team.

"I asked if I could go out on loan to get some game-time and I've come back trying to get back in the team."

And Stenson said his loan spell at Kidderminster helped him get back to fitness.

"Definitely. Obviously with my previous injury it was good to get back out on the pitch, get my match-sharpness back and come back 100 per cent for the lads, rather than 50 per cent or 70 per cent. Come back 100 per cent and help as much as I can," he said.

Stenson didn't score on loan at the National League North club, but felt he made an impact there.

"I played four games, started two, came off the bench for two," he said.

"I got into goalscoring chances, got two or three assists, so it was just good to get into those positions again, because it's been a while since I'd been in those positions.

"It was nice to be back out there and back amongst it."

Stenson signed on loan for the rest of the season when he joined Kidderminster in March, but says he didn't close the door on a return to Halifax.

"Never, never. Obviously the loan was until the end of the season, but in my head I'm a Halifax player, so I wanted to go there and just keep the attention of the staff here and make them keep an eye on me by playing well, playing full games, with that intention of maybe coming back," he said.

"And I'm happy to be back. I want to win the league or get promoted, so here I am."

Stenson suffered an injury in pre-season back in 2020 and then limped off on his debut in November that year, which kept him out for more than 12 months.

But he is philosophical about what has happened, and is instead using it to motivate what happens next.

"Things happen for a reason, which is my motto for all things in life," he said.

"It's happened, I can't dwell on it. I can use that past, that bad time, as something to build upon and make me strive towards working hard and getting back to where I want to be."

Stenson has no doubts he has a part to play in what remains of Town's season.

"One million per cent," he said, "one million per cent. I had a part to play before I got injured, nothing's changed apart from I had an injury.

"So I'm back here now and I'm fully committed into getting us promoted."

And he is equally as bullish about The Shaymen's chances of success.

"We've got a very good chance, and if anyone thinks we haven't then I don't know what they're watching because these lads, from the moment I've been injured until now, we've just got a great squad and there is no reason why we can't maybe even win this league," he said.

"I know we lost on Saturday but stranger things have happened in football.

"But if we don't win the league we'll win the play-offs - that's our attitude."

When asked why he was so confident of Town's chances, Stenson said: "It's a variety of things, it starts from who the gaffer brings in and he's brought in a fantastic squad.

"Every single one of them look after each other, believe in each other, and that's a key to success, if you have a good bunch of lads you're unstoppable in a sense."

The next step on the road to promotion is Saturday's home game against Yeovil, where Halifax will be aiming to put the defeat at Southend behind them.

"Like the gaffer's said from the start, we take each game at a time," Stenson said.

"We don't focus on anybody else, we focus on ourselves.

"So we'll dust ourselves down from Saturday and we'll work towards this weekend, go for three points and keep pushing on."

If The Shaymen show as much resilience and durability as Stenson has, they're in with a great chance.