FC Halifax Town: We're ready for the challenge, says Garner
Town defender Scott Garner believes Halifax are ready for the step-up to the National League.
Garner scored the extra-time winner as Town beat Chorley in the Conference North play-off final to seal their place in the fifth-tier last season.
And the centre-back feels optimistic about how The Shaymen will fare next term, especially given their impressive displays against Dagenham and Redbridge and Eastleigh during their run to the second round of the FA Cup last season.
“It will be a good test and I think we are ready for the step-up,” he said.
“We look a strong team and I think we will do well.
“I wouldn’t say we’ll surprise people because I think people expect us to do well but it’s good to play as high as you can in the game.
“We played against Conference National teams in the FA Cup last season and they were physical battles, but our team is built for that.
“We know we’re going to get bullied in games but we’re ready for that.
“You also get punished if you make mistakes, so we need to be aware of that.”
Heath has only lost three players he’s rather have kept in Richard Peniket, Kevin Roberts and Jordan Sinnott, with the nucleus of last season’s squad still intact, something Garner thinks bodes well.
“Our squad has been together from last season so we’re not starting from scratch there, we’re hitting the ground running,” he said.
“Hopefully we can build up a big points tally early doors and crack on from there.
“We’ve brought in some good quality too.
“We’re a big, strong team and we work hard for each other. I think they’re the key reasons why we’ll do well.
“Even if we have a bad start we can turn it round but we’ll hope for a good start and try to get as many points on the board as we can by Christmas.
“A good start is important for the mindset of the team.”
Garner isn’t necessarily expecting a season of struggle to lie ahead, and reckons Halifax will relish their underdog status against some of the biggest names in non-league football.
“We’ll go into it with an open mind,” he added. “I think anywhere around mid-table would be good but we’ll see how it goes.
“It’s good to be in the same league as some of the big teams and get to go to those big grounds.
“Sometimes it’s hard for those big teams because the opposition treat those matches against them as a cup final.
“We’ll be underdogs against them but we might shock a few of those big teams.
“It’s definitely something to look forward to. We’ll go to those grounds full of confidence.
“Sometimes the bigger teams have friction in their squads whereas we all get on really well.
“We’ll be a smaller fish in a bigger pond this time but I think that’s a good thing.