FC Halifax Town: “There’s a massive amount of work going on” says assistant boss Millington

FC Halifax Town assistant manager Chris Millington says negotiations are taking place with a number of potential new signings as work to rebuild the squad continues.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 11:57 am
Football - FC Halifax Town v Stockport County at The MBI Shay Stadium. Town assistant boss Chris Millington (left) and manager Pete Wild.

Three more departures were announced on Tuesday night, with Michael Duckworth, Charlie Cooper and Tobi Sho-Silva all turning down new contracts at The Shay.

The departure of midfielder Cameron King was also announced last weekend.

With goalkeeper Sam Johnson, defender Jay Benn and midfielder Jack Earing understood to be under contract for next season, that leaves defenders Nathan Clarke and Niall Maher, midfielders Jeff King, Josh Staunton and Danny Williams and striker Jamie Allen whose futures remain unresolved at the club, with defender Jacob Hanson and captain Matty Brown both on the transfer list.

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“We’re in the final throes of dotting i’s and crossing t’s with lads who we wanted to retain from last season,” Millington said.

“The deals are, to all intents and purposes, agreed, it’s just the fine detail that is just being finalised at the moment.

“That’s where we wanted to be at this stage.

“We’ve got a very specific list of players and what they would bring to us and we’ve been going through top priorities, looking at those players and speaking to them, making sure we get out and meet them, sit in-front of them so they can see what we’re trying to do next season, and we can get a good feel for whether or not they are buying into the plans we’re putting in-front of them.

“We’re well on with that and we’ve got a good number of players who’ve expressed an interest to come and be part of it, who we want to be part of it.

“So now we’re into the business of talking money. But we’re where we’d want to be at this stage of the process.”

Millington has assured the club’s supporters that a lot of work is going on behind-the-scenes to bring players into the club.

“It’s tough for the fans because we can’t discuss every aspect of the negotiations because it wouldn’t be fair on players, it wouldn’t be right for the club to be public about every discussion we’re having,” he said.

“The fans might think there’s nothing happening if there’s no announcements, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“There’s a massive amount of work going into getting the right people in the door, getting the right signings for what we want to achieve, and that fit the club.

“There’s a lot of things we have to consider. Everyone knows we’re not in a position to be just throwing money at it and signing the top earners in the division, so what we’ve got to do is be much more thorough in other ways.

“We’ve got to be very specific in the types of midfielders we want to sign, we’ve got to be very specific in the types of players we want up top, we’ve got to be very specific in the types of players we want to sign for our defence.

“We’ve then got to make them aware of what they will gain by being a Halifax player. They won’t gain millions of pounds, so what other things can we offer them that make it attractive?

“That’s what we’re working really hard to do, is make sure that players want to come and be part of what it is we’re offering, which I think is quite an exciting project.

“Most of the lads we’ve sat in-front of have been quite excited by it and we get the sense that, with these lads, money isn’t the biggest motivator.

“They want to be playing football, playing at the right end of the division, and be part of something that’s a bit more aspirational than just how much they see going in the bank account every week.

“Which is great because we’re like that as staff, and if we can surround ourselves with players who’ve got the quality to be where we want to be, but are motivated by more than just money, then we think we’ll be in a good place.”

Millington says the playing budget at the club offers enough for him and Pete Wild to build a squad that can compete in the National League again next season.

“We’re happy to work under the constraints that Halifax Town offers,” he said. “The fact is that there are so many sellable features of the club, it’s a big club, it’s a good town, there’s a good fanbase, it’s an opportunity to try and propel what should be a Football League club into the Football League.

“There are many things that we can sell to players.

“We’re working hard to make sure that we’re offering a training programme that replicates a full-time model as best as we can.

“We’re looking to provide players with a platform to really showcase what they can do and propel the team higher, and establish us as a force in this division that’s challenging to go into the division above.

“There are a number of things we’re looking to try and use to make the club an attractive proposition to people.

“The players we’re talking to are buying into that and can see that it’s genuine, it’s a real desire for us to put the club and the town on a platform, in a football sense, that it should be on.

“We think we’ve got enough between the financial position we’re in and the staff and the project we’re offering, to try and attract players who will fit that, and who will help us be successful next season.”