FC Halifax Town: “It’s that extra boost, having the fans there” - Senior can’t wait to play in-front of Shaymen fans next season
FC Halifax Town defender Jack Senior says he can’t wait to start playing in-front of fans again for his hometown club after signing a new deal with The Shaymen.
Senior, who grew up in Holywell Green, joined Town last summer and made 31 league appearances for the club at eight left-back or left wing-back.
“We got a little taste of it on the last day of the season, which was the first time I’ve played in-front of fans in a proper game for maybe two years,” he said.
“I got goosebumps walking out, maybe because of those two years. It’s that extra boost, having the fans there.
“It didn’t feel like we only had 800 there, it felt double that. You put on top of that the amount we hope to have there next season, that’s what I’m most looking forward to is the fans, the atmosphere, driving us on. I’m really excited for that.
“I managed to have as much family as I was allowed on the last day of the season, so a few people missed out, but it was lovely to see them in the warm-up and after the game.
“It’s different watching it on a live stream, I’ll go home and my mum will ask me questions ‘what happened there’ and I’m trying to explain. She can see it first-hand and be in the moment rather than watching it through a TV screen.
“I’m excited for my friends to come, I’ll be having a few problems trying to get hold of enough tickets I think!”
Senior vied with the now departed Danny Williams for the left-sided defensive role last season, and says he was pleased with his his campaign went.
“Personally I’m really happy in terms of the amount of games I played, I haven’t played that many games for a few years now, and it was really enjoyable,” Senior said.
“That was made easier by the environment I was in, with the lads and the staff, just the all-round environment, it’s just been perfect for me.
“I’ve really enjoyed it from a personal point of view.
“From the team’s perspective, obviously we achieved the play-offs the year before, and then this year we didn’t, so you can maybe see that as not achieving the same goals, but all the lads who were there the year before say how much better a squad we were last year.
“I think we should really have got into the play-offs, but there’s no particular reason why we didn’t, that’s just football, you’re not going to win every game.
“The chance was there for us and we were all hurt when we didn’t, as we should be because of how well we played in most games and how we conduct ourselves.
“We all know what we set out to achieve last season, and I think we’ve got the same aim again this year.
“In the first few games I played I was still finding my feet to a point, in the sense of not playing for so long and getting into a rhythm, but once you get into a rhythm it’s easier.
“At the beginning of the season I was still proving a point to the staff, they’d seen my clips and what I could do but on a day-to-day basis I was still proving myself about what I could do.
“As the season went on, and when I started to get more of a run of games in the second-half of the season, I think I was on my way to showing what I can do.
“Hopefully with more games this year, then I think we’ll see more of what I can bring to the table.
“I was thankful to be given the chance to get back into full-time football by the gaffer and Milly (Chris Millington), and I think I’ve still got some repaying to do. I think it was starting to show but hopefully I can do more next season for them and for the team.”
When asked where he feels he could improve his game, Senior said: “I think especially with us playing a back three and me playing as a wing-back more often than not, then my goals and assists contributions could be better, in terms of putting more crosses in for people to get on the end of, and being more of a threat attacking-wise.
“That is something we picked up on, what we think I can improve on. That’s come from myself acknowledging it and from the staff.
“The good thing is the sense that we both know what we want to work on and, with the gaffer, Milly and Sarg, they do that anyway, they give you as much help as they possibly can to help you improve.”
Senior says he relished the working environment created by Town’s management team.
“From what I’ve seen last season, I’ve not really experienced anything like it in terms of the attention-to-detail and the care, the little chats here and there,” he said.
“The acknowledgement of when you do stuff well, because it could often be focused on the negatives, but they’re just as quick to focus on the positives and give you the five, ten per cent confidence boost, or the acknowledgement of what you’re doing well, so you continue to do it.
“I really enjoyed working under them last year and I’m really looing forward to continuing that this year.”
Senior isn’t the only one, with the vast majority of Town’s squad from last season having been retained.
“The fact we’ve managed to keep the core of the team benefits us from the start in that we’ve had a season together, we know how each other clicks on the pitch, and I think that’ll be a good factor in terms of us hopefully having a successful season,” he said.
“We know what our plan is, every game we go into. Sometimes it doesn’t fully come to fruition, but the main thing is we know the plan.
“If it worked every game, we’d have been promoted without losing a game.
“But the main thing is we’ve got a group of lads that have stayed on and that know the plan, and it’s a plan that we look to implement every week.”
Senior is bullish about Town’s chances of competing for promotion again next season, having just missed out on a second successive play-off campaign last term.
“You look at the squad we’ve got, when we played well, we played really well, and even when we didn’t get the result against some of the bigger teams in the league, there was only a rare occasion when we didn’t turn up.
“For example, you look at South Shields, that was the start of the spread of the illness (Covid) in the squad.
“Whether we do end up there or not, you can’t predict that, but we definitely will aim to with the quality we’ve got in the squad.
“We’ll end up in similar situations that we were in last season, being 1-0 down or letting a team back into the game for example, but because we’ve been reflecting back on those games, we’ll have more of an understanding of how to not let that happen again, because you learn from your mistakes.
“Hopefully we’ll have a successful season and there’s no reason why we can’t.”