FC Halifax Town: Shaymen came highly recommended to Harry by ex-boss Aspin

Actions from the game, FC Halifax Town v Woking, at the MBI Shay. Harry Middleton
Actions from the game, FC Halifax Town v Woking, at the MBI Shay. Harry Middleton

Halifax have former manager Neil Aspin to thank for the signing of loanee Harry Middleton.

The Port Vale midfielder made his debut in Town’s 0-0 draw with Woking on Saturday after joining on a month’s loan - following Aspin’s recommendation.

“He said nothing but good things about it,” Middleton revealed. “He helped me sort it and was a big influence in me coming here.

“He was at the club for a long time and said it was a great club, a great pitch and great fans.

“He sold it for me straight away.”

Middleton admits his future is up in the air, but is hoping Halifax will be the start of bigger things.

“I just want to do as well as I possibly can here, but I’m just taking it game-by-game and not looking too far ahead,” he said.

“Whether that leads me to go back and get in the Port Vale side, which is my aim, or whether I stay here for longer, or if I impress someone else watching me, I don’t know. I’m not planning too far ahead.

“I’ve played a full season in League One when we got relegated, but I felt I did well.

“That was my first season in proper football really.

“I like to think if I can put my ability out on the pitch I can play League One, definitely.

“But you can’t plan it, people’s opinions get in the way.

“But I didn’t see coming here as a step back. I saw it as a way to kick-start my career.”

Middleton came through the youth system at Doncaster, joining the club aged 14 and making his debut as a 17-year-old in a 1-1 draw at Crewe in December 2012.

Darren Ferguson handed Doncaster-born Middleton a three-and-a-half year contract in December 2015.

But he was transfer-listed at the end of last season, with Ferguson citing Middleton’s need for a fresh challenge, and only sealed his move to Vale Park on transfer deadline day.

“Paul Dickov was in charge at Doncaster when I started to play a few games and then Darren Ferguson took over,” said Middleton, who describes himself as a sitting midfielder who likes to dictate play.

“I played a lot under him in the first season and then I wasn’t doing enough to get in the team.

“They’ve got a very good team so it was hard to break in and my progress had stalled because of that.

“I spoke to him and he thought it was best for me to move on and kick start my career.

“But that’s football, and he was very good about and said he’d help me wherever he could.

“He didn’t want me to just sit and not play, he wanted me to get some games.

“It was hard to take because I loved it at Doncaster, but I think it was needed.

“When the opportunity to go to Port Vale came up it was the obvious choice really, to try and prove myself in a different team but still in the Football League.

“It was the right decision at the time.

“I wasn’t playing as much as I’d wanted at Doncaster and Port Vale was a new challenge.

“I haven’t really had a lot of game time there either, but the gaffer wanted me to come here and it was a no-brainer.”