FC Halifax Town: Garner reflects on a year to cherish at The Shay

13 May 2017.......    Halifax Town v Choley National Conference North Play-off Final at the MBI stadium Halifax. 'Towns Scott Garner celebrates after scoring the winner in extra time. Picture Tony Johnson.
13 May 2017....... Halifax Town v Choley National Conference North Play-off Final at the MBI stadium Halifax. 'Towns Scott Garner celebrates after scoring the winner in extra time. Picture Tony Johnson.

Mention 2017 to Scott Garner, and the Town defender understandably breaks out into a wide smile.

Garner scored the winner in the play-off final at The Shay against Chorley to cap an excellent debut season which saw him named as the club’s player-of-the-year.

He has gone on to perform consistently well in the National League this season, and signed a one-year extension to his contract in October.

“It’s definitely been my favourite year in football,” he reflected. “It was a great year.

“I remember before I came here the gaffer said ‘do you want to come and get promoted?’ and I said ‘yeah that sounds good to me’.

“After the Stalybridge game (when Halifax lost 1-0 last January) we were in the changing room, I think we were about 12th at the time, and the gaffer said ‘don’t worry, we’ll get promoted this year’ and I just said ‘yeah, I hope so’.

“The semi-final and the final at The Shay were some of the best atmospheres you’ll play in. It still gives me goosebumps to this day when I watch the videos - which is still quite regularly!”

Town have only lost once in their last five games after a miserable run of 12 matches without a win.

“We’ve got stronger, we keep our shape better and then grow into games rather than going out a bit loose,” Garner said.

“We’ve always stuck together, and that’s the best thing about the club. We’ve all got each other’s back and everyone looks after each other.

“No matter what the results are we keep going and going.

‘You have to keep plugging away and trusting each other. We’ve known each other a long time now.

“We had a bad run last season and still went on to have success. We never once got sidetracked and thought we weren’t good enough.

“We’ve always stuck together and you do come through it. And it makes you stronger.

“We were strong at Aldershot and since then I think you can count on one hand the chances we’ve given away, barring Monday.

“We’re not expecting to concede goals now. We enjoy defending. We invite it on and stand up strong, win our headers, win our tackles and try to keep clean sheets.”

Garner has been encouraged by Town’s Christmas and New Year period, and is hoping for a good start to 2018.

“We’ve played some good teams but I think we’ve applied ourselves brilliantly,” he said of Halifax’s busy recent run of games.

“We’ve been strong, we’ve won our battles and we’ve played some nice stuff at the right times.

“If anything we’ve been unlucky not to come out of it with more points.

“The thing is, when we were on that bad run, I don’t think our performances were as good as they are now.

“The performances have been due more points than we’ve been getting at the minute, so we’ll have to keep plugging away and I’m sure we’ll get our rewards.

“I think Michael Collins has been a great addition, and his experience has brought a lot to us.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries and suspensions and when you have a small, part-time squad it does matter.

“When we get our strongest 11 out there we’ll be a match for anyone in this league, but it’s just getting them out there.

“We were right up there earlier in the season, and then we got injuries.

“Matty Kosylo is magic and we have missed him, but hopefully him and the others will be back soon and we can start climbing the table.”