FC Halifax Town: “I’m enjoying my football” - Defender Senior loving life at his hometown club

Halifax v Yeovil at The Shay, October 13, 2020. Photo: Marcus Branston. Jack SeniorHalifax v Yeovil at The Shay, October 13, 2020. Photo: Marcus Branston. Jack Senior
Halifax v Yeovil at The Shay, October 13, 2020. Photo: Marcus Branston. Jack Senior
Jack Senior was looking forward to playing in-front of his friends and family this season for his hometown club.

But thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, they have had to settle for watching him on live streams instead.

The defender grew up in Holywell Green, attending the local primary school, and played for Elland Juniors as a youngster.

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After spells with Luton, Harrogate and Gloucester, the 24-year-old has enjoyed his time so far at The Shay.

“I’ve just been loving playing football again,” said Senior, who joined Gloucester in November 2019 but injured his hamstring a couple of month later and didn’t play for the rest of the season.

“I think I’ve fallen on my feet in terms of the environment I’m in, the personnel I’m working under - Sarg (Joe Sargison, first-team coach), Milly (Chris Millington, assistant manager) and the gaffer.

“The work they put in and the work I’ve noticed they put into me as a player as well, just the little things I haven’t really experienced before, little chats here and there, little words of advice - it’s not over-complicated, and they’re good with their praise as well, the acknowledgement of when you do something you’ve been working on.

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“It was a tough year in and out of it (last season), not really enjoying it, and then the break when football wasn’t going on.

“I realised this is what I want to do and luckily I’ve fallen on my feet.”

Elaborating on what kinds of things the club’s coaching staff have worked with him on, Senior said: “They’ll notice where my eyes are when they watch the game back, they’ll look at the stats from a game and they’ll put two and two together, and say something like ‘you’re stats were up running-wise, it shows you’re being proactive’ and then when it’s a bit lower, they’ll look at the game and see how I played and they’ll see that I might have been a bit reactive, and they’ll mention that to me.

“They’ll talk about when I get into attacking areas, where to put the ball, where the lads are going to make their runs, just so it becomes second nature on a matchday.

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“They’re on at you, but in a good way. It’s constructive, and it’s because they care, and you can see that they want the best out of you.

“So I’m in a really positive place.”

Senior feels he has improved since joining the club.

“I didn’t have much experience as a wing-back but being a fit lad playing full-back, getting up and down the pitch isn’t a problem to me, it’s more your positioning sense in the final third because you’re starting in higher positions,” he said.

“Instead of coming from deep, you’ve got to start higher to create the width.

“In the sense of being a wing-back, they’ve really helped me and that stands me in good stead for my future, being able to play in a four or a five.feels more comfortable as a wing-back.

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“That’s down to the work we do, that we put in based on how we’re going to approach the game.

“It’s just repetition. Obviously there was stuff I didn’t really know coming into a team where they wanted to play a back three, so I have learned and I think I have become a better player for that.

“I’ve been learning and taking on board what they’re saying, but there’s still work to be done.

“I want to contribute more goals and more assists, but I feel like I’m going in the right direction.”

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Senior is vying with the left-wing back role with Danny Williams, but says the duo help to push each other on competing for the same position.

“The main thing is me and Danny both want the team to do well so whoever it is, we’re supporting each other,” he said.

“In training we’re pushing each other to do the best and then we’re putting it into a game.

“I think the man management is very good. You speak to Mill and the gaffer about why you might not be in that particular game, and their attention-to-detail about why they’ll go with one of us is good.
“They’re just honest. We both want to play every game, and when that’s not happening you want to be told straight, and they tell you why, and then me and Danny are supporting each other, which is the main thing. We’re pushing each other.”

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Senior doesn’t feel Town fans have seen the best of him yet.

“I’ll be the first to tell my mum, my dad, my granddad how I’ve played, I don’t sugar coat it,” he said.

“I either play well or I don’t.

“I know how I’ve played in the past and I think there’s still more to come, creating more going forward, but it takes time adapting.

“The one thing I am doing is giving my best when I am playing.”

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Senior also believes there is more to come from Town as a team.

“You see the standard in training every day, the quality of individuals and the characters we’ve got,” he said.

“You put all that together and it’s a very good mix of everything to be successful.

“We might not have had the fluidity of having the same strikers, people have come in and out, but that’s football.

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“When we get it all together I think there’s definitely more to come from us, and I think we know that as well.
“We can blow teams away, we know we’re capable of that.

“Most of the games this season, we haven’t been dominated. Maybe South Shields, but that was the beginning of all the illness in the team.

“We’ve gone to Solihull, we’ve had Torquay and Notts County come to us, and we’ve given everything we’ve got and been unlucky.

“But there’s definitely more to come from us and I think it will come.”

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Senior says the only thing missing from the season so far is the fans.

“If there were fans there, I’d feel it a lot more, but I do already feel it more,” he said of playing for his hometown club.

“With it being my home town, it does hurt when results don’t go our way, and it feels really good when it is going our way.

“We know our targets and we’re more than capable of achieving them.

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“To be part of that being from the town, it just adds that little bit extra for me really.

“The only thing is there’s no fans - for your friends and family to come and watch you play for your hometown team.

“My dad said ‘I don’t think I’ll be able to come and watch you this season, playing for your hometown team’, so that’s the only thing missing.

“Other than that, every single part of it is what I’ve wanted it to be. I’m enjoying my football, enjoying going to work, being in and around the lads. It’s a good group to be around, and you don’t want to change that for anything.”

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On his fan club watching the live streams of games from home, Senior said: “My dad, mum, granddad, sometimes my brother. I think they’re all secretly getting together and are going to send me the bill, so I’d better start chipping in with some goals so they get their money’s worth!”

Senior signed a one-year deal last summer, and would be happy to extend his time at the club.

“I’d love to stay,” he said. “I can help the decision but there’s no guarantee that I will or won’t.

“I just want to be working as hard as I can to help myself and help the team week-in, week-out.”

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If Senior did stay next season, it should mean his friends and family will finally be able to watch him in person at The Shay.

“That would be nice, yeah,” he said.

“Have a few of my mates hurling abuse at me, that would be nice! That’s what I’m missing!”

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