FC Halifax Town: Tomlinson bids sad farewell to The Shay after two seasons

Ben Tomlinson, FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax
Ben Tomlinson, FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax

Ben Tomlinson says he is leaving behind “a family” after his two years at The Shay came to an end.

The 29-year-old was one of five players released by The Shaymen after the end of the 2018-19 season, having scored four goals in 56 games.

“It was a great group of lads, and I’ve been there for two years. When you’re at a club for that long, it becomes like a family.

“The ones that have been there since I joined, like Sam Johnson, Kosy (Matty Kosylo), Browny (Matty Brown), I’ve got to know really well. You become part of each other’s lives.

“I’ve been really close to the likes of Dayle Southwell and Jordan Preston that came in this season.

“I travelled in with Dayle every day for a year, so we ended up spending three hours a day in the car together.

“You get close to people, but it’s been a good bunch.”

Tomlinson joined the club as a striker under Billy Heath, but after failing to establish himself as a first-team regular, found more joy as a right-winger under Jamie Fullarton.

“It was a mixed bag. I had good spells, bad spells,” he said of his time at Town.

“I didn’t play as well as I wanted to when I first signed under Bill (Billy Heath) and I went through a bit of a frustrating period where I wasn’t playing.

“As a player, you want to be playing week-in, week-out and obviously it didn’t figure out like that.

“When Jamie (Fullarton) came in, I played the last 10, 12 games under him. Did really well, form picked up.

“First 10 games of this season, fantastic, playing back to how I expected to be.

“Then obviously a couple of disappointing injuries has tarnished the rest of the season.

“So that was frustrating, but I’ve enjoyed it.”

Tomlinson missed three-and-a-half months of the season with a knee injury following a tremendous start to the season, and then suffered a season-ending hip problem in February.

When asked if he thought he would still be at the club but for those setbacks, he joked: “If it hadn’t been for those injuries, I’d have probably gone up a level!”

“I definitely think I’d have played 40 games this season and been fit as a fiddle.

“And yeah, I’d like to think Halifax would’ve offered me another deal.”

Tomlinson feels the club has the right ingredients on which to have a successful campaign next season.

“The boys at the back have had absolutely fantastic seasons with all the clean sheets,” he said.

“The forwards have probably not done them justice. There’s been a lot of draws in there, and if your attackers can take their chances, you can turn a lot of those draws into wins.

“There’s definitely the foundations there to have a right good go next season.”

Tomlinson also thanked the Halifax fans for their support during his time at the club, adding:”The fans have been fantastic. They’ve followed us home and away.

“The away support has been fantastic. Harrogate away was a really good one.

“I think a few maybe tarnish the entire bunch, but the majority of fans are fantastic.”