FC Halifax Town: “It’s just been my home” - Earing says the only way is up for Shaymen after departure
Jack Earing says he is gutted to be leaving FC Halifax Town but excited about the future after joining League Two side Walsall.
Earing spent two seasons at The Shay after he was signed from Bolton by Jamie Fullarton, who is now technical director at Walsall, and after a mixed first season, enjoyed a superb second campaign as one of the star performers for Pete Wild’s team.
“I’m gutted to be leaving, I’ve had two wonderful seasons at Halifax,” Earing said.
“The first season may not have been how I wanted it to go but it was a major factor in my development.
“When the opportunity came, when there was interest in League Two, especially from Walsall, as I knew Jamie Fullarton was there, and Matt Taylor, they were a big influence in me going there.
“I just felt wanted by the club and obviously the chance of being back in the Football League was a major factor for me.”
Reflecting on his two years at Halifax, Earing said: “It seems like ten years ago when I joined!
“But honestly, I’ve made so many friends, it’s just been my home, I’ve just felt loved by the fans, the players, the coaches, the environment I’ve been in.
“When I arrived after leaving Bolton, I didn’t think it’d be easy but I think I just took it for granted that I was playing in the National League, and I thought I’d just walk all over it.
“But I soon realised that it’s a bloody hard league and I was going to have to work my guns off to get where I wanted to be, which is back in the Football League.
“I had a good start in pre-season in the first year, and thought it was only going to go up from there.
“It wasn’t necessarily the change of managers but my head wasn’t right, but at the end of the day I didn’t perform on the field, and I think that was because I wasn’t ready.
“I feel like the loans, taking a step down into the National League North, definitely helped me, in terms of the ugly side of the game, which I felt like was what I needed to improve on, and I felt that made me more of a complete player.
“When I came back from lockdown at the end of the first season, I think that was the pinnacle where I changed, I’d got my head down and thought
“if I want to get in this squad, I’ve got to work harder than anyone else’ and through that lockdown I was training every day in my garden, and when I came back I was flying.
“I just didn’t look back from there, and when the manager gave me the chance to play the next season, I just put my head down and went from there, and enjoyed my football all season.
“I think that belief and confidence from the manager and players allowed me to excel.
“I was just more confident, with all the experiences I had from the season before, I just took it all in.
“I knew I could play in that league, I just had to show everyone, and I felt like I did. I grew in stature as the games went on and I was just gutted with my injury.
“I really felt like, if I stayed fit, I could have helped the team get into the play-offs.”
Earing says Wild and assistant manager Chris Millington played a major part in his development as a player over the last couple of seasons.
“I rang them the other day just thanking them for what they did for me, they just understood me as a person and a player, how I work,” he said.
“They knew how to get the best out of me, which worked in sending me out on loan, knowing I wasn’t ready, and then having the belief and seeing my abilities, to come back and give me the number ten shirt and playing me, giving me that confidence and freedom to play, which helped me massively.
“That’s what they’re so good at, the coaching side of it. As the season went on, they just told me to keep driving with the ball, that’s what I’m good at.
“When you’re driving with the ball, it’s about the decision points, when you release the pass, when you keep going, and I just felt my decision-making was much better this season, which is what’s helped get interest from league clubs and National League clubs.”
Earing admits it was a wrench to leave Halifax, but is looking forward to getting back into the Football League.
“I’m just excited, I’m only 22 and I’ve just got to prove myself in the EFL, this is my chance to step up with a big club like Walsall,” he said.
“It was a hard decision because there was a contract on the table for me at Halifax.
“I wasn’t saying to anyone I wanted to leave, that wasn’t my intention because I was happy where I was, and it’s not about money for me.
“I just felt it was the next step, to be back in the EFL. If Halifax had got promoted this season, I would 100 per cent have been at Halifax, because I knew I would be playing there and I felt loved by the fans, it was just a happy environment to be.
“There were offers in the league and the National League but I wasn’t going to take them if it wasn’t the right move for me, if I knew I wasn’t going to play or it was down south.
“But with the offer at Walsall, I just felt wanted straight away and I knew that was the place I wanted to be.”
Earing has joined Jeff King - two of Town’s strongest performers last season - in departing The Shay, but says there is no reason why The Shaymen can’t continue to progress.
“I think Pete and Milly know who they want to bring in to strengthen the team and if they keep hold of the core of the squad, some of the experienced lads who have massively helped the squad this season, and some of the younger lads coming through,” he said.
“Lads like Kian Spence, people haven’t seen enough of him yet because he’s a player, he’s going to have a big season and a big career ahead of him.
“But if they get the recruitment right the only way is up.”