FC Halifax Town: Shaymen players feel right at home in house-share

Jonathan Edwards and Sanmi Odelusi
Jonathan Edwards and Sanmi Odelusi

As part of his journalism studies, recent Halifax loanee James Ferry asked his former Town team-mates how they were finding living away from home.

I’d lived away from home before, but this time I’d be 200 miles away and couldn’t pop back whenever I wanted.

Shaun Rowley

Shaun Rowley

It was 12 days before Christmas when I received a call saying Halifax Town wanted to sign me on loan.

I felt the chance was something I couldn’t turn down and I was excited to get going, so that evening I drove from Enfield in London to Leeds, where I would be house-sharing with my new team-mates for the next three months.

I greatly enjoyed playing in front of the Shaymen fans and I’ve learned a lot, on and off the pitch.

But I was keen to see how my house mates found living away from home and whether they enjoy the experience as much as I had.

Jonathan Edwards and Cameron King

Jonathan Edwards and Cameron King

Midfielder Cameron King moved to Halifax from Norwich last summer, aged 22.

“Obviously with football you have to get your head around moving all over England, so it’s something you have to adapt to,” he said.

“Living at home is easier as you have your friends and family there.

“Moving up here was a big challenge for me coming from Kings Lynn two leagues below Town.

James Ferry, FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax

James Ferry, FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax

“Halifax is the biggest club I’ve played for in the first team in England and that challenge made me want to move up here and prove myself at a higher level.”

Day-to-day life changed for Cameron, as it did for me, and you must learn to grow up and fend for yourself.

“I get up at half eight, have some breakfast and head off to training.

“After training I’ll head back home and put my washing on. Using a washing machine was something I had to learn and isn’t as easy as it looks!

“I realised when you live at home you have it easy, you get your washing done, your food cooked, so moving up here has helped me gain life skills I never would have gained had I not come up here.

“I had to learn to fend for myself, so it has been great for that.”

As in most jobs, football has its ups and downs, but the lows can be harder to deal with when your family aren’t close-by to support you.

22-year-old forward Jonny Edwards, from Bedford, feels the bonds with the team-mates you live with help you through tough times.

“When you’re at home you can go and see your family when things don’t go well, and it helps take your mind off things,” he said.

“If you’re living on your own and things don’t go the way you want it to, it can get lonely in football.

“That’s why I like living with the boys, it can take your mind off stuff.

“We eat together, play FIFA and spend a lot of time together, its almost like another family.”

Jonny believes living away from home helps him concentrate solely on football

“I feel more focused when I’m up here, I know it’s time to work and there’s no distractions,” he said.

“I need to get on with training hard, getting in the team and helping the team get three points on Saturday.

“It’s been a great opportunity moving up here to get first team football for a good club.

“I’m part of a men’s first team now and have enjoyed the whole experience so far.”

Moving away was something that 25-year-old winger Sanmi Odelusi thought made him grow up a lot quicker than any of his friends back home, having moved to Bolton from London aged just 15.

“Obviously I fled the nest in the early stages of my career,” he said. “It made me grow up very quick.

“So, coming to Halifax wasn’t that much of a change for me.

“One of the best things about living away from home and living with your team-mates is the bond you make off the pitch.

“It transfers on to the pitch and allows you to work harder for your fellow team mates.

“Overall, I’m so glad I took the opportunity to come to Halifax and live with my team mates.

“At the end of the day to have a job that I love and to play football for my job is my dream and a blessing.

“Millions of kids dream to play football every day and I’ve been lucky enough to do that.”

21-year-old keeper Shawn Rowley moved to Halifax from Shrewsbury at the start of this season, and is also glad to have taken the opportunity.

“I’m going to take the experiences I’ve gained in the house with the boys forward in my career,” he said.

“It made me a better person and football player I believe.

“Little life lessons like cooking, paying bills and generally growing up!”

For me, it’s been a great experience at Halifax, I’ve played in some superb wins, and been part of a brilliant set of lads.

The team spirit made the move a lot easier, and I’d like to thank the gaffer for giving me the opportunity and the fans for their support.

There are many lessons and experiences I’m going to take home with me.

Click here to read James’ ambitions to one day swap the pitch for the press box