FC Halifax Town: Defender Brown hoping for a happy new year after injuries

The FA Trophy Final.'FC Halifax v Grimsby Town.'Halifax's Matty Brown celebrates.'22nd May 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
The FA Trophy Final.'FC Halifax v Grimsby Town.'Halifax's Matty Brown celebrates.'22nd May 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Town defender Matty Brown can’t wait to see the back of 2016 after being blighted by injuries following the club’s relegation.

Brown’s only appearance for the club in the last eight months was in the FA Trophy final at Wembley in May.

His injury problems started with a late tackle in the 4-2 win at Nantwich in the FA Trophy on March 12 in which he sustained ankle ligament damage.

He played with injections in the Trophy final before undergoing surgery during the summer.

But after working his way back to fitness, he then sustained a growth on his heel which also required surgery.

“I can’t wait to get 2016 out of the way because I need to start playing again.

“I’m looking at the new year as a fresh start.

“It’s been hard but you’ve got to use it as motivation. It just makes you stronger.

“I’ve got to make sure I stay fit for the rest of the season.

“This is the longest I’ve been out in my career by a mile and it’s the most frustrating because it was a stupid tackle on my ankle (at Nantwich).

“I’ve got it on DVD and I’ve looked back on it a few times and to be honest I feel like hunting the lad down!

“At the time the damage was done but I played on for three games and just thought it was a knock, but I’d snapped my ligaments.

“If I’d stopped then I might not be in this position, but I wouldn’t have played at Wembley.

“The surgery was successful but I had a bony growth at the back of my heel that was digging in and I had to have it removed.

“It’s just about getting rid of the scar tissue and then I’ll be back in training.

“It’s like getting your tooth out really. It’s something like one in 10 people who get this.

“When I was trying to kick a ball it was digging in and it was quite painful.

“I think the gaffer was more aware of it than I was. I was trying to ignore it but he knew there was something up with it.

“People might think it’s taken longer than it might have done but I was waiting a month for the operation.

“I’m nearly ready to join back in training.”

Brown is still haunted by Town’s relegation from the National League.

“As good as the day at Wembley was for the club and the fans, I’d still have swapped that for staying up,” he said.

“I’ll never get over having a relegation on my CV - it still hurts me that we went down.

“The way it was early on was like we were destined to get relegated but then we turned it round.

“Then for it to come to the last day and have several opportunities to tie it up, it was an emotional rollercoaster really and it was hard to take.

“But it’s all part and parcel of being involved with Halifax isn’t it!

“Hopefully we can bounce back this year then push on. We don’t even want to be in the Conference, we want to be in the Football League.”

Brown is now focusing on resuming full fitness after

“I’ve been through hell and back with it.

“When you’re watching the lads and the times when they’re struggling, you want to be out there helping them.

“I’m not a good watcher - it’s hard to watch when you can’t take part yourself.

“But that’s all behind me now. If I can get back in the team I want to help push the team back up.

“We’ve got a good squad and we can beat anyone on our day.”

The centre-back signed a two-year contract at The Shay in the summer, but is focusing on justifying his place at Halifax to himself rather than the club.

“I don’t think too much about having to prove myself to other people,” said Brown.

“I do it for myself. If I play good or bad, I know myself. I don’t let outside influences affect me that much.

“You just learn to be like that when you’ve been round the block a bit.

“I still think I’ve got a lot of time in me and the chairman showed his faith in me by giving me a two-year contract.

“But I like to do my talking on the pitch.”