FC Halifax Town: New dad Duckworth glad to be right-back in the thick of the action for Shaymen

Dover v Halifax. Photo: Simon Harris/Dover AFC'Michael Duckworth
Dover v Halifax. Photo: Simon Harris/Dover AFC'Michael Duckworth

Town’s overnight stay before their defeat at Dover meant Michael Duckworth got what will increasingly become a rare good night’s sleep.

The defender and his wife Victoria became parents when their son Jasper was born at 9.08pm on Friday, March 8.

“She was amazing through it all,” said Duckworth.

“He’s settling in nicely. Obviously it’s been nice to get him home.

“He’s already two weeks old so time’s flying already! It’s going too quickly.

“A few of the lads have got kids so I’ve been hearing about the sleepless nights!

“To be fair, he’s done alright so far, he’s been no trouble so far. But I’m hearing that’s all still to come!

“I’d like to bring him to a game if I can, maybe the last home game.

“I’m sure he’ll be a football fan though.”

Dover was Duckworth’s 10th consecutive start at right-back, with The Shaymen keeping seven clean sheets.

“I’ve been doing well,” he said. “It just feels nice to be back fit and get a run of games.

“I’ve been fit for a while now, but it was between me and Jacob (Hanson), and unfortunately for him he’s dropped out, I’ve come in and done well.

“It’s nice to just have a consistent run of games, that’s what I’ve needed to get past that barrier.

“I feel like I’ve passed that now, and I’m feeling good every game.”

Duckworth had to play second-fiddle to fellow right-back Jacob Hanson earlier in the season, but the roles have now reversed, with Hanson forced to watch from the sidelines.

“I just had to work hard in training and I knew eventually (my chance) would come,” said Duckworth, whose contract expires in the summer.

“That competition does help though. It drives you on to be better.

“I feel like I’ve done well these past couple of months, so I just need to keep going and have a strong end to the season.

“Obviously I’ve been in his (Hanson’s) shoes, I know how he feels.

“We’ve only got a small squad so you never know what’s around the corner.

“As long as he’s staying on it every day then I’m sure he’ll be ready when he gets his chance.”

Only four sides in the National League have conceded fewer goals than Halifax, and Duckworth is pleased with how solid the team’s defence has been.

“It’s been good. We’ve grown a good little unit.

“I feel like we defended well at Dover but they were just two sloppy goals.

“We’ve defended well in the last couple of months. It’s been nice to be part of that.

“Obviously I’ve got great experience next to me.

“I’m experienced myself now, I’ve played a lot of games, but I feel like we’ve got a good connection across the defence.”

Town are seemingly safe, being nine points above the relegation zone with a game in hand, but Duckworth insists The Shaymen will stay focused.

“Obviously the lads know we just need to pick up a few points here and there, but we won’t take our foot off the gas.

“We’ll still try to win every game to try and finish as high as possible.

“If you won four or five games towards the back end of the season you’re looking at the top half of the table, which on the whole, is not a bad season from where we were.

“I think the lads will stay on it right until the end.”