FC Halifax Town: “I’m happy where I am” - Wild excited to see plans for next season coming to fruition
Town manager Pete Wild says there has been no contact with Rochdale and that he is happy at The Shay after being installed as one of the front-runners for the vacancy at Spotland.
Wild has moved from being joint-favourite to second favourite among the bookies’, with former Colchester and Swindon boss John McGreal now the leading contender with the bookmakers.
“Whenever you’re linked with a job, it’s always really pleasing, it shows that we’re doing something right, and people are taking an interest in what we’re doing, so from that respect, everybody should be pleased that we’re getting noticed,” Wild said.
“But from my side of things, there’s been no contact, so we just move on and we carry on.
“But it’s really nice to be linked, especially with clubs such as Rochdale ”
When asked about any possible approach that may come from Rochdale, Wild said: “That’s irrelevant at the moment because there hasn’t been contact.
“I’m happy where I am and we carry on, and we move on.”
Wild is happy with how his squad is shaping up as the start of pre-season approaches.
“We’re two weeks out now from (the start of) pre-season, we’re really pleased that 90 per cent of the squad have re-signed,” he said.
“We wanted to keep 95 per cent of the squad, we’ve managed to keep 90 per cent of the squad, and I think that’s a massive achievement, and a massive well done to everybody at the football club, that people want to stay, and they see Halifax as the future of their football.
“We’ve encouraged them to stay and we’ve fought off a lot of other offers that players have had, because they see Halifax as a viable option for them.”
The Town boss says retaining the nucleus of last season’s squad is a major plus going into the next campaign.
“It’s huge because we took 12 months to develop a style of play and how we wanted to do things, how we wanted to behave and the culture we wanted to create at the football club,” he said.
“So having 90 per cent of them still living that on a daily basis I think is fantastic and I think it’ll stand us in good stead.
“And the people we’re looking to bring in will hopefully sprinkle on the top of that.
“So that’s really pleasing. I look at some of the younger players that have re-signed and I think they should be excited because this is their year, this is their year to shine at National League level.
“I’m really excited for those young players, and we will look younger this year, I think we’ll look more athletic, more youthful exuberance about us, and I think that bodes well and we should be excited about the young players that we’ve retained and that are developing within our environment.”
One player rumoured to be on his way out of the club has been striker Jake Hyde.
“Jake’s our player, and I intend for him to be back in two weeks’ time,” Wild said.
“I spoke to him yesterday, he’s our player, we’re happy he’s our player and hopefully he’s going to have another productive season.”
Asked whether there had been any interest in Hyde from other clubs, Wild said: “There’s been rumours circulating but none of them have either come to fruition or are true.
“Like I say, we’re happy that Jake’s ready and raring to go and we’re hopeful that me and Jake can work closer this year to make sure that I get the best out of Jake.”
Wild says news on additions to his squad is imminent.
“We’re close, I would lie to think that there’ll be a couple announced this week if things go well,” he said.
“And we have three that will be attending pre-season, and if they do well, we’d like to sign.
“So that would take us up to five, and we’re only looking for one more, and I’m close on that other one.
“You’ll hopefully see two or three before we go back for pre-season, and then hopefully after a couple of weeks of pre-season, providing the players do well that we like, you’ll hopefully see three more after that.”
On whether his new signings were top of his list of targets, Wild said: “In and around, we have spoken to quite a few this year where, unfortunately, because of finances, other clubs have, for want of a better phrase, blown us out of the water.
“But the people we are talking to are the right people, not just good footballers but good characters, that we know will drive the group on and believe in what we’re trying to do.
“That’s as important as anything, that we get the right characters. We got the right characters last year and that’s why we did well, and we need the right characters again in the building.”
Wild is expecting to be working with a squad of 20-21 first-team players.
“Obviously you’ve got Matt Stenson in there as well, so Matt adds to our numbers, and obviously he’ll be like a new signing when he comes back, probably around Christmas time,” said the Town boss.
Wild said the new signings will all be permanent transfers.
“Obviously we are talking to clubs about the loan market, but it’s a little it early for the loan market yet,” he said.
“There may be one loan in there if it comes off.”
The Town boss is pleased that progress has been made in assembling his squad for next season.
“It is exciting, because you now know where you’re up to,” he said.
“I know the fans have been frustrated - imagine being in my shoes, where you’re just waiting for people to either agree to stay or want to sign for us.
“Because we’re only looking for a few players this year it’s important we get those areas right.
“We’ll be younger, we’ll be athletic, but exciting. I’m excited about what we’ve gone and got again, some bright young talents that are going to make us better.”
Town will be without captain Nathan Clarke next season after he left the club following the end of his contrat.
“I’m disappointed because he was an integral part of what we did,” said Wild.
“He was fantastic for me as a person, I learned a lot from him, I leant on him quite a it in terms of his experience.
“It’s unfortunate, but at the end of the day we can only offer what we have available, we did that, we gave him the best offer we could possibly give him, and that wasn’t for him.
“So we have to move on, it’s a great opportunity now for the other three boys to step up to the plate.
“We went on our best run of the season with them three in the team, so it’s now time for them to come of age, they’re not young pups anymore, and they need to stand up.
“We need to supplement that area with one more, and we’re confident we’ve got that one more to supplement that area.”
Wild is yet to select a replacement as captain for Clarke, who was replaced as skipper when out of the side last season by Niall Maher.
“Nothing’s been decided with that, I want to see who we have in the building and we’ll decide when we come back for pre-season, and when we’ve got lads in the building,” he said.
“He (Maher) did an excellent job deputising for Nathan last year, so he puts himself in a good position, but I won’t confirm anything until I’ve looked at everything we’ve got.”
Wild is hoping to arrange another friendly for August 14.
“That will be last minute, we’ve got a club that want to play us but they need to wait until their fixtures come out to see if that’s do-able, and that won’t happen probably until near the end of July,” he said.