FC Halifax Town: Heath can lead Shaymen to success, says King

Liam King
Liam King

New signing Liam King believes Billy Heath is the right man to lead FC Halifax Town back to the National League.

Midfielder King was captain of the club under Heath and won the FA Trophy and the Conference North play-off final in his three seasons at North Ferriby.

The 28-year-old says Heath instilled a strong team ethos at North Ferriby and generates a fierce loyalty towards him from his players.

“He knows non-league really well,” said King. “All the clubs he’s been involved in have been small clubs with not a lot of money.

“He doesn’t do big egos!

“There were never any players at North Ferriby that didn’t fit in with the group.

“But he gets a great team spirit together and a group of lads that will play for him.

“They don’t have to be the best group of players but we scored a lot of goals last season through hard work.

“He’s a good man manager and he looks after his players.

“He’s always there in training going round the lads seeing how they are.

“The lads will play for him. We were 2-0 down in the play-off semi-final last season (after the first-leg against Boston United) and still won.

“We’d have run through a brick wall for him.

“He’s been there and done it at that level and is signing lads who have as well.”

King felt Heath’s departure from North Ferriby meant the time was right to follow in his manager’s footsteps, despite Halifax being a division lower.

“Halifax is a big club and with the manager leaving I just thought it was time for me to move on,” King said.

“I’ve had four great years at North Ferriby and it is a drop in divisions but it won’t feel like that with a club like Halifax.

“I’ve played for him for four years and he’s got the best out of me.

“If he’s leaving to join a club in a lower league and he’s got the confidence to do that, that told me it was time to go as well.”

King came through the youth system at Rotherham and signed a two-year professional deal with The Millers, playing a handful of first-team games under Mark Robins before he was released.

He now runs his own business providing football training for 2-8 year olds.

“Everyone thinks they’ve been unlucky but I’m the type of person that just gets on with things.

“When I got released I did make a lot of wrong decisions and I was badly advised.

“I could have taken opportunities elsewhere but didn’t.

“But I had a great time at North Ferriby and I’m hoping for more success at Halifax.”

King describes himself as a box-to-box midfielder despite scoring 19 goals last season as North Ferriby earned promotion to the National League.

He believes a repeat performance from Halifax this campaign will require hard work and a collective mentality.

“You can’t take anything for granted at that level,” he added.

“Every team in that league has its strengths and you’ve got to be at it in every game and earn the right to play.

“It’s tough going to teams away on a Tuesday night when it’s freezing cold so you need a group of lads who’ll work hard for each other.

“Billy’s going to get a good squad together, all the boxes are bring ticked at the moment but we’ll need a good team spirit.”