FC Halifax Town: Josh hoping Shay stint gets him closer to Hull first-team

Hartlepool United V Halifax Town. National League.
Tomi Adeloye and Josh Clackstone.
Picture: TOM BANKS
Hartlepool United V Halifax Town. National League. Tomi Adeloye and Josh Clackstone. Picture: TOM BANKS

Hull defender Josh Clackstone is hoping Halifax will be a stepping stone to the first-team at his hometown club.

The 21-year-old is captain of the Tigers’ under 23 side and made his senior debut for Hull in their 2-0 defeat at Doncaster in the League Cup in August - in a team that also featured fellow Halifax loanee Dan Batty.

Clackstone joined Hull when he was 14 years old and was a boyhood fan of the club.

“I used to go with my dad when I was younger,” recalled the right-back. “I think they were in League Two when I started going.

“I went to watch them at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.

“My dad was buzzing the day I told him about getting my first professional contract. He was delighted.

“They’ve been up and down but we have to get it back together now and I think we’re getting there.

“It’d be a dream if I got into the first-team week in, week out but I know there’s a long way to go for me to get to that point, and playing at Halifax is only going to help that.”

Clackstone says he hasn’t discussed his first-team prospects with manager Hull’s Russian Leonid Slutsky but has trained regularly with the first-team.

“Hopefully this loan spell will get me a step closer,” he said. “Any first-team football is going to progress you as a player, so it can only help.

“All the lads are great there. It’s a lot quicker with the first-team than in the under 23’s because they’re elite footballers.

“You’ve just got to get used to it - get with it or get out to be honest.

“I’m just trying to learn my trade and get better each day.

“Being captain you’ve got to be a bit more of a leader, and when you come to teams like Halifax you’ve got to take that on and be able to speak to players on the pitch.

“You’ve got to get with it or you’ll get swallowed up.”

Clackstone went on loan to Notts County for four months last season, playing eight games in League Two.

“It was an eye-opener but a good experience for me,” he said.

“You’re playing in a competition that means something rather than academy football, in which you’re trying to play well but you’re not too bothered about the results. But the results really matter here.

“It’s different to what I’m used to but it’s a good learning curve for me.

“The style of football is different, there’s more long balls rather than trying to build up from the back.

“But you have to learn every bit of the game if you want to go forward, and playing here is only going to help me do that.”

Clackstone is pragmatic that his potential route to the Hull first-team may not be straightforward.

He added: “Some people go straight into the first-team, but others go out on loan and get experience that way. It’s just what type of player you are and how you can adapt to certain games, how you fit in.

“It’s different for each player but I wanted to come here.

“A few of the lads at Hull had been getting out on loan and I wanted to be playing first-team football, regardless of where it was.

“I think this is only going to have a positive affect on me by playing here and learning from the players and learning during the games.”