Bishop still as ambitious as ever after frustrating spell at Wrexham

Andy Bishop in a race to win the ball with the Halifax defender, Marc Roberts
Andy Bishop in a race to win the ball with the Halifax defender, Marc Roberts

Andy Bishop is in no mood to take things easy after a frustrating spell on the sidelines at Wrexham.

Halifax is the 32-year-old striker’s eighth club in a career that has seen him notch more than 150 goals.

But the forward is eager to put an underwhelming two years at Wrexham behind him and wants to help fire Halifax towards the upper reaches of the National League.

“I’m still ambitious. I’m coming here wanting to score goals and go for promotion,” he enthused.

“I’m not the sort of player who’d come here and just be happy playing.

“I want to win things and achieve things - that’s what I’m here to do.”

Bishop looks back on his time at the Racecourse Ground with disappointment, having scored seven in 38 league games in the 2013-14 campaign and seven in 39 league appearances last season.

“It was probably the most frustrating time in my career,” he reflected.

“I don’t think we achieved what we wanted there.

“Last year was frustrating as I didn’t play as much as I wanted to.

“The manager (Kevin Wilkin) came in and wanted to bring his own players in so I didn’t really play a lot even though I scored 15 goals.

“The manager brought in two forwards that he saw as his own and I didn’t start for the first 15 games.

“I came in and scored seven or eight in 11 games and thought ‘here we go, I’m going to be on a roll now’.

“Then I got left out again!

“But I still ended up with 15 goals so I was happy enough.”

Bishop admits his prolonged spell on the bench was difficult to adjust to.

“I’ve never done that in my whole career,” he said.

“It was difficult but it makes you stronger and it made me want to succeed more.

“I think I did that by scoring the goals I did.

“If that would have happened 10 years ago I’d have probably left straight away - ask to be put on the transfer list and been away!

“But you get wiser and understand football more and it’s worked out alright.”

There was strong interest in the experienced front-man this summer, but Halifax’s style of play appealed to the Cannock-born man, who finished as the division’s top-scorer in 2006 for York with 23 goals.

“I’d been speaking to a few clubs and ended up speaking to Lee Nogan, who I knew from my time at York,” he said.

“He told me the gaffer was interested in speaking to me and it went from there.

“I spoke to six or seven clubs - a couple in League Two, a couple in this league and a couple in the league below, just trying to work out what my options were.

“I thought this was the perfect fit.

“After playing against them in the last couple of years I’ve been impressed by their attitude, their work-rate and the way they play.

“They get the ball in the box and I think that’ll suit me down to the ground.”

Bishop, who is targeting more than 20 goals this season, feels in good shape and is optimistic about the forthcoming campaign.

“Fitness-wise I feel great,” he said. “I had a setback at Bury where I was out for 18 months with knee injuries.

“But I’ve recovered during my time at Wrexham.

“My first season there I played a lot and then my second season I wasn’t injured at all - fully fit all season, so I’m raring to go now.

“Coming into training and seeing the other players they’ve signed, there’s a real good group here who could achieve something.

“Matty Brown, Kingsley James, Jordan Burrow - I think we’ve got a really strong spine in the team and with all the players who were here last season it looks really promising.”