FC Halifax Town: “I’m really pleased with how they’ve come back” says Town boss Wild

FC Halifax Town manager Pete Wild says he will not rush into putting the finishing touches to his squad.

Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 2:15 pm
1 September 2020 ..... Manager Pete Wild with his Halifax Town players back pre-season training for the start of the National League Picture Tony Johnson

The Shaymen have begun pre-season training with a group of around 22 players, including triallists and youth team players.

Wild says he is hopeful of a couple more additions before the start of the season, which would be a second goalkeeper and a further outfield player.

The Town boss has been pleased with how pre-season training has gone so far.

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He said: “We had a day of testing and we’ve had some good days of training, the lads have done really well.

“I’m really pleased with how they’ve come back.

“We’ve been doing longer sessions, trying to make them as robust as possible and getting a lot of physical stuff into them.

“What we’ve tried to do from day one is get some team play into them, we’ve got five weeks to get them to understand how we want to play.

“It’s been back at it, we’ve got a lot to get through, but it’s a good group of people who are switched on and the standards have been high.”

Town were due to train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week, with the squad given Saturday off, with Wild citing the importance of recovery time ahead of two behind-closed-doors friendlies next week against Mossley on Tuesday (7.45pm) and Guiseley on Saturday (1pm).

“They’re in good shape,” said Wild. “Gone are the days where pre-season’s about getting you completely fit.

“I’d like to think the modern day footballer keeps themselves in some sort of physical nick, and it’s really pleasing how they’ve come back.

“We’ve given the lads individual programmes they need to do away from the football club. It’s about that strapline of going the extra mile, that’s been spelled out to them on day one, that not only are we doing an extra day but when it’s their day off there’ll be a gym programme to be done from home.”

The Town boss said there are “a few” triallists training with the squad that he wanted to have a closer look at, and thinks some of them will feature against Mossley and Guiseley next week.

“One, we can take a look at them and two, it’ll boost the numbers because I don’t want anyone doing more than 45 minutes in the two games next week,” he said.

Wild said there had been “nothing concrete” on any developments regarding transfer-listed duo Matty Brown and Jacob Hanson.

On young defender Jay Benn, Wild said: “Jay’s done really well, and rightly earned himself a contract halfway through last season.

“He will stay with us through probably three quarters of pre-season. We just want to gauge where he’s at technically and tactically.

“Then we’ll decide whether we loan him out for a bit of experience or we keep him around the group, depending on numbers.

“But one thing I’ve always said about Jay is that we’ve got a really good prospect.

“I’ve had three more academy boys in training this week and I really want to keep producing our own.

“Jay is a great part of that. We’ve just got to assess over pre-season where we think he currently is.

“We have had some offers from clubs to take him on loan, but we’ll just see how he does with us first before we start jumping into loan deals.”

Wild is still aiming for a first-team group of 20 by the start of the season on October 3.

“Whether that includes Jay Benn or not is up for debate. We’ve also got to think about finances because the club’s not bringing in any money, apart from season tickets,” he said.

“There’s no lucrative friendlies. There’s hopefully going to be fans back in the ground come October 3, but the money streams are not really pumping.

“So I’ve got to appreciate from the chairman that he has constraints on finances.

“In an ideal world we’d like to be in and around that 20 mark come the start of the season.”

On the possibility of supplementing his squad with any loan signings, Wild said: “I’ve said I’d like to use the loan market better this year. I’ve got a few options, but I’ve got the core group in, I know a couple of others I potentially want to bring in, and I’ll just have a look at it and see over pre-season where I think we’re short.

“To the back end of pre-season I’ll then assess what I do with that other position.

“Touch wood we don’t get any injuries but if we do pick up any niggles or knocks in pre-season that will obviously affect what that last position (in the squad) becomes.
“I just want to bat sensibly on that last position.”

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