Clarke defends the North Ferriby influx from Humberside to Halifax

FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium.
North Ferriby United v Wrexham.
Ferriby's Danny Clarke gets away from Wrexham's Connor Jennings.
29th March 2015.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium. North Ferriby United v Wrexham. Ferriby's Danny Clarke gets away from Wrexham's Connor Jennings. 29th March 2015. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Danny Clarke has defended the North Ferriby influx at The Shay after becoming the seventh player to make the move from Humberside to Halifax.

The 31-year-old followed Danny Hone, Tom Denton, Liam King, Tom Nicholson, Josh Wilde and Nathan Hotte in joining Town from Billy Heath’s former club.

It is the fifth time Clarke has signed for Heath, for four different clubs, having also played under him at Hall Road Rangers, Frickley and in two spells at Ferriby.

“I’ve seen a few comments,” Clarke said about the number of Ferriby players at Halifax. “Maybe they’re justified, maybe they’re not.

“There’s some criticism that ‘it’s another Ferriby player’ but we got promoted last season. We were very successful.

“There’s a way to get out of this league and Billy knows that.

“The fact that Billy is bringing what he knows to the club, I don’t know why it’s being judged really.

“If you’re going to get out of this league you need the right players to do it.

“It’s about hard-work and consistency.

“Curzon are at the bottom of the table but we turned up there (last Saturday) with the wrong attitude, didn’t put the work-rate in and got what we deserved, nothing.”

Clarke played football in the Sunday League in Hull and moved to play in the North-East Counties League, where Billy Heath spotted him at Winterton Rangers and took him to Frickley.

Clarke says he and Heath share a belief in hard work and feels his manager’s philosophy plays to his strengths on the pitch.

“His whole mentality and the way he plays football suits how I play,” Clarke said.

“I’m not the most technically gifted put I put the effort in.

“It just works for me. He inspires me and he and Mark Carroll (assistant manager) have always brought me success.

“I’ve played for managers where if you’re not playing for them, you don’t get on with them.

“I think Billy’s very fair, he’ll give players a chance. If they don’t have the right attitude then he doesn’t want to know.

“He just expects one thing from you, and that is to work hard.”

Clarke, who was captain at North Ferriby this season, leaves Heath’s old club in 23rd place in the National League having won just four of their 21 league games so far.

The midfielder spoke with Heath in the summer about a possible move to Halifax, but said he couldn’t turn down the chance to do so second time around.

Clarke made his debut as a half-time substitute at Curzon Ashton on Saturday, but he is prepared to wait for his first-team chance

“In the games where it’s nitty-gritty and we need to battle, that’s where I’ll come into my own.

“That’s what Bill wants from his players; people that are going to work hard every week.

“You need a squad in this league so I don’t mind biding my time.

“I’m a naturally fit person so if I’m sat on the bench I can come on and still give it 100 per cent.

“Fair play to the lads, they beat Dagenham the other day so there’s no reason why I should just walk in and take a place.

“Although maybe with the defeat on Saturday I’ll get my chance.”

Clarke scored 14 goals last season for Ferriby, and feels his best position is as an attacking midfielder.

“Probably just off Dents (Tom Denton),” he said, “that’s where I’ve had my most success.

“I’ve played on the right a lot for Bill but the older I’ve got the more I’ve come inside.

“I can play in various positions and I’ve played in goal.

“We didn’t have a keeper on the bench so I got put in there for the second-half, made a few saves and kept a clean sheet.

“Utility man is definitely an accurate description for me!”