FC Halifax Town: Mixed news on the injury front as Wild prepares for Curzon friendly

1 September 2020 .....   Manager Pete Wild with his Halifax Town players back pre-season training for the  start of the National League  Picture Tony Johnson1 September 2020 .....   Manager Pete Wild with his Halifax Town players back pre-season training for the  start of the National League  Picture Tony Johnson
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
FC Halifax Town travel to Curzon Ashton tomorrow (3pm) and boss Pete Wild wants his players to show why they should be starting if and when the National League season kicks-off next Saturday.

It is Town’s penultimate pre-season friendly, before they face Fleetwood’s under 23s on Tuesday (1pm) and will mark the end of a week that saw doubt cast over whether the campaign would start at all after the announcement that supporters would not be allowed into stadiums due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

But the National League has said they are in the process of securing a financial support package from the Government so their 2020-21 season can begin on Saturday, October 3.

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With attention now focused on the final stages of preparing for the season, Wild is hoping to welcome back some players from the sidelines.

“Danny Williams is back in training and we’re hoping Nathan Clarke will be back in training on Friday, so hopefully both of them get some minutes on Saturday,” he said.
“Matt Stenson has done his hamstring so he’s going to be out for six weeks unfortunately.

“Jake Hyde, Jack Senior and Reuben Noble-Lazarus have got little knocks and tweaks, so if they’re not involved at the weekend they’ll certainly be back involved with the group next week, we’ve just got to look after them as a precaution.”

On Stenson’s injury, Wild added: “It’s really disappointing, the poor lad’s had a bit of a stop-start pre-season.

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“He’s got real quality, the glimpses we’ve seen of him, but he’ll come back stronger.
“This probably gives us a chance now to make him more robust, make him stronger, probably something he’s never had in his career is a programme to make him robust enough for a 40-odd game season.
“So I think that’ll help him to make him stronger, fitter and he’ll make the impact when he comes back in.”
Wild said a goalkeeper trialist will play on Saturday before a decision on a signing for that position is made next week
“Obviously following the news on Stenson we may have to replenish the forward line,” he added.

Wild also said that Tuesday’s scheduled friendly with Huddersfield Town’s youth team was cancelled due to the current injury situation.

“We just felt we needed to can that with the knocks and bumps we took this week, so that was as a precaution,” he said.

“We’ve still got loads of bodies and loads of potential, loads of really good players, so it’s another chance to get some minutes into the legs and build towards next Saturday.

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“I think Curzon have given all the National League teams they’ve played a really good test. Steve Cunningham’s gone in there, changed things, done things differently to previous managers and I’m really excited about the game.

“We’re getting down to that crunch stage now where players need to step up to the plate and show why, come next Saturday, they should be in the starting 11.

“We’ve had really promising outings in the three pre-season friendlies we’ve had, technically and tactically, and we’ve got to keep that going.

“We go into this week’s fixture hoping to build on that on the training ground.”

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Centre-back Neill Byrne could make his first outing for Town on Saturday after his move from Fylde.

“I’m really pleased, he comes with enormous experience at this level, he’s a really good age at 27,” said Wild.

“He’s coming into his prime as a centre-half, he’s played over 230 games at this level in teams that have always done well, and captained teams that have always done well at this level.

“He comes with a raft of experience and again, it shows that we’re trying to get the right types of characters and leaders in the building to fit what we’re trying to do.

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“I think it’s another massive signing for the club and a big coup for us.”

On former captain Matty Brown, who left the club this week to join York City, Wild said: “We wish him all the best, he’s been a good servant to the club.

“He moves on and we move on.”

Wild said the club were still working to try and resolve the future of the transfer-listed Jacob Hanson.

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