FC Halifax Town: "It's my shirt to lose now" says Shaymen defender Senior

Jack Senior, like his FC Halifax Town team, has taken things onto the next level this season.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 1:54 pm
Jack Senior. Photo: Marcus Branston

The 24-year-old is the personification of The Shaymen's improvement in consistency, style of play and performances.

The left-back has made the role his own this season, and gave a typically combative and committed display in the 2-1 defeat to Wrexham on Tuesday night.

"Personally, it's the most I've enjoyed it since I was 19, 20," he said.

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"I've had a tough few years before coming here but I'm really enjoying it now.

"I've got myself into the team, I'm working hard. The main thing I set out to do was to enjoy it and I'm in the perfect environment to be enjoying it, from the staff to the lads, it couldn't be a better place for me.

"It was a bit in and out last year because I was competing for a place with Danny (Williams).

"We pushed each other all season, but this year I've managed to stay in the team and that bit of consistency has helped my performances."

Does Senior feel he is in the best form of his career

"That comes through consistency," he said.

"I had a run when I was 19, but I'd say so yeah, I'm feeling confident in my ability at this level.

"Again, that comes from the staff instilling that into you, the lads around you, and the quality we've got in this team.

"But I still think there's more that I can add to my game in terms of contributions going forward.

"I think defensively I've been part of a back four that's been resolute more often that not this season.

"That's the first thing you look at being a defender, I want the clean sheets more than the going forward contributions.

"But in the style we play going forward, I want to be doing both, so if I'm being critical of myself, then I'd want more involvements going forward."

After sharing the left-back berth with Williams last season, Senior now has the spot to himself and is taking the chance with both hands.

"Again, I go back to consistency. If you're in for a game after not being in for three, you just want to get your head down and get through the game, you don't want to be doing things out of the ordinary, you'd rather have a solid performance to build from," he said.

"Competing for a place last year, it might have been in for one game, and I had to learn why I wasn't playing in those games and Danny was.

"Over the summer, I've gone away and realised that I've got to have a bit of everything to play every game because every game's different.

"I would say that (part of my game) has improved but there's always room for improvement.

"But again, I cant tell you how much I'm enjoying being here, it's just everything I could have asked for.

"It's my shirt to lose now, and that's how I think of it every day in training, that's how I think of it every game, because of what I've been through prior to coming here, watching games week-in, week-out, training all week for absolutely nothing.

"I never want to be in that situation ever again, and since I've been here I've worked hard to not be in that situation.

"At the moment I'm not but that's not to say that couldn't change, so that's my thought process every day, is that I don't want to be in a team watching them, I want to be playing my part."

Senior, who grew up in Holywell Green, says there is a strong bond developing between the players and the supporters.

"All my family's able to come from 10 minutes away to watch me, my friends that I went to school with are in the South Stand," he said..

"It's that added extra of, when things are going well like they are this season, it makes you feel so good, and when it's not going so well, it hurts that little bit more and you want to put it right.

"It's worked out so well so far. I'm not taking anything for granted, I'm enjoying it while I'm here.

"And you've got to mention the fans as well, I feel like this year there's a real unity between fans and players, You can feel it on matchdays.

"Obviously it's easier when it's going well. There's games when we haven't performed to our best but they're so consistent and that really helps us."

Town are fifth in the National League, six points off top spot with a game in hand, having made a hugely encouraging start to the season.

"I think we've gone to the next level," Senior said.

"There's games we lost last year that we aren't losing this year.

"We've got that quality of being relentless, the standards that are being set, we're meeting those standards, and when we do, we set new ones, higher ones.

"There's a real expectation of each other to meet those standards, and we've got real leaders who are making sure that it's right every day in training.

"It's better than last year, there's more resolute defending, more ruthless attacking. It's come to fruition so far.

"We're only 16 games in, it's a stepping stone so far, it's been a good start and we'll look to build on that."

And Senior says there is no reason why Town can't continue in the same vein.

"Some of the football we've played against some of the best teams in the league - obviously I don't think the result on Tuesday was deserved - but some of the football we played, and we restricted them to minimal chances.

"We've just got to be a bit more streetwise, but in terms of how we've played against teams, I think there's a big difference," he said.