Big Ben not counting strikes

Ben Futcher, pictured here playing for Mansfield against Kettering, says clean sheets are his focus
Ben Futcher, pictured here playing for Mansfield against Kettering, says clean sheets are his focus

Defender Ben Futcher says his main focus is clean sheets - but hopes to weigh in with a few goals too.

Futcher was one of the first recruits in Neil Aspin’s summer revolution at the Shay when he signed from Bury on a season long loan.

And the towering defender bagged his first goal in Town colours when he headed home a first half equaliser at Brighouse

But despite being a weapon in the opposition penalty area, the 31-year-old insists his priority is what goes on in his own.

“I don’t set myself any targets when it comes to scoring goals but obviously I’d like to weigh in with a few,” said Futcher.

“We conceded at Brighouse which was a disappointment but if we focus on keeping them out then anything else is a bonus.”

Futcher, one of seven new players for this season, said he was glad to finally get out on the pitch.

“You kind of dread pre-season but you know if you’re not doing it you’re always going to be behind. There’s no easy way to get fit but now the games have started it’s going to get a lot more enjoyable.

“It is always difficult in the first game because you’ve done a lot of running but not played much football. It sounds funny but when you get on a full size pitch for your first game in eight or nine weeks you lose your bearings a little bit.

“I thought it went well at Brighouse, we got a good workout in the first half, picked up no injuries and everyone got at least 45 minutes in which was good.”

Futcher has a coaching role at Bury during week, but said he’s at Halifax to play, not coach.

“First and foremost I’m here to play and to do a job for Halifax and the manager. I’m not here to overly coach, that’s the manager’s job but if he ever asked me to do some coaching I will, but when I’m out there I will just play my normal game like I have throughout my career and hopefully that will help bring some of the younger lads along.”

He added that he didn’t need any convincing to join Neil Aspin’s side.

“It was an easy decision once I found out they were interested and I had decided I was going to take the coaching role at Bury it was a fantastic opportunity. It was all done over a couple of phone calls and I’m looking forward to being involved.”