FC Halifax Town: “I’ve definitely got more confident as the season’s gone on” - Green happy to be playing his part for Shaymen
If Kieran Green’s first full season in the fifth tier is anything to go by, he may not be playing in it much longer.
The 23-year-old joined Town on a one-year deal last summer from York and has enjoyed a hugely successful campaign for The Shaymen, establishing himself as a crucial player in the midfield engine room.
Only Sam Johnson has made more league appearances than Green this season, although the midfielder is modest about his contribution.
“Up and down really, I’ve just done my best,” he said.”
“I’ve had spells where I’ve played out of position, like playing up top and in the (number) 10, and I’ve done my best for the team really, that’s how I’d describe it.
“I’ve done what I’ve had to do, but hopefully I stay in the team and we go on to be successful.
“I’ve definitely enjoyed it though and it’s been great playing with the lads week-in, week-out.”
When asked how he has found the step up from the National League North, where he played last season with York City, Green said: “I think fitness is a big difference, you do get certain individuals at the level below who’ve got quality and are good players, but there just seems to be a step-up in fitness.
“And obviously it’s a better goal at the end of the season if you go and get promoted into the Football League, obviously that’s what we want to do.
“You’re coming into a new league and a new team, and at times I’ve been playing positions I wasn’t really familiar with.
“But it’s all a learning curve and I’ve definitely grown and got more confident as the season’s gone on.
“I feel like I’ve grown into the team and I just love playing week-in, week-out.”
Green has produced some tigerish, tenacious displays for Town in the heat of the midfield battle, and has appeared to relish the scrap.
“That’s bread and butter, that should be a given really that you win your headers, you win your tackles, you work as hard as you can and then if you do all that, then you can kick on and play,” he said.
“I’ve always prided myself on trying to do that side of the game and try to be ugly at times.
“I like to think I can add a bit more than that but if it’s a game where it’s a bit scrappy I’ve got that (side of the game) I can rely on.”
The midfielder says he has enjoyed playing in slightly different roles for Town throughout the season, something which has helped develop his game.
“There’s been certain jobs I’ve had to do as a midfielder that are maybe different to the week after, but it’s the same position, so it’s just adapting to the different styles and systems and retaining the information on what they want you to do,” he said.
“So for example, we go and play against Bromley away, when it was always going to be ugly, they pump it a bit, so the information for me was to sit in-front of the back four, go and have a scrap with their striker so that if he won his flick-ons, we’ve got lads behind us.
“Then on the flip side of it, we play against a Notts County on a big pitch, nice surface, and they said they wanted me to get after them, get on the ball, you don’t have to hold your position as much, you can leave your position, go and drive, get after your man, and when you get it, keep it and try and make things happen.
“It’s those little subtleties that I’m really enjoying.”
Green is enjoying playing under Town boss Pete Wild and assistant Chris Millington.
“They’re brilliant for me because their attention-to-detail’s brilliant,” he said.
“I like to think I’m quite approachable so if there’s any pointers or anything they’re not happy with, or they are happy with, then they’re constantly in my ear, letting me know.
“If it’s things they think I could do better, or I could work on, then they’re always in my ear.”
Despite featuring so heavily this season, Green doesn’t consider himself one of the first names on the team sheet.
“I think we’ve built an atmosphere where it’s not like that, it’s not like a starting 11 and then the rest,” he said.
“There’s points in the season where the fixtures come thick and fast and the lads’ bodies are all different and they cope with it differently, so everyone needs to be on their toes.
“All I can try and do is be as fit as I possibly can so I can play as many games as I can.”
Town go into the business end of the season on the fringe of the play-off positions, just a point and a place outside the top seven.
“I’d like to have been a bit higher personally, but it’s the way it goes, there’s ups and downs,” Green said.
“But from that first month when it took a bit of gelling and we dropped points when we shouldn’t have, had good performances, I feel like we’ve got a really good group and I feel we’re just getting better and better.
“I think we can dominate a game and we can maybe not be quite at it but we can be ugly.
“I think it’s a brilliant group.”
And Green is confident The Shaymen can secure a play-off spot.
“We go toe-to-toe with all the big teams, Torquay, Notts County, Hartlepool, we go toe-to-toe with them all, and we feel like we belong on the pitch, we don’t feel like top of the league’s coming to play against us and we’re in awe of them or anything like that,” he said.
“We get after them and I think that’s when we’re at our best.
“I’m 100 per cent convinced we can finish in the play-offs and have a really good run at promotion.”