FC Halifax Town: Tough decision to leave The Shay, says Peniket

Richard Peniket v Halifax. Picture: Gateshead FC
Richard Peniket v Halifax. Picture: Gateshead FC

Richard Peniket insists it wasn’t an easy decision to leave Halifax for full-time football at Gateshead.

The striker rejected a new contract at The Shay in order to link up with former manager Neil Aspin in the north-east, and started in the 0-0 draw between the sides on Bank Holiday Monday.

Speaking after the game, the 24-year-old said: “I’m at the age now where I want to improve and get as high as possible, and working with the gaffer who brought me to Halifax was a big part of it.

“It was a tough decision because I loved my time at Halifax. I loved the lads and the fans were brilliant.

“My reason for staying the season before was that I wanted to get the club back up and I thought it was a good time for me to move on because we went up, finished on a high and now they’re doing well in the Conference which is good to see.

“I think they’ll do well. They’ve got a good manager, good players and good characters. I don’t see any reason why they can’t push on.

“They showed against us that they can do the dirty side of the game. I think they’ll pick up points in this league.”

Peniket sustained a cruciate ligament injury in March 2015 but came back to help Town win the FA Trophy in 2016 and earn promotion under Billy Heath last season.

“I thought I had a good first season, then obviously I got the knee injury, which took a while for me to get back to form,” Peniket said. “It was a tough time being injured and not being able to play.

“Overall winning at Wembley and winning promotion through the play-offs last season were two massive highs and things I will always remember.”

Peniket said being full-time has made a difference to his fitness levels.

“The pre-seasons are a lot harder, but you do benefit for it, you feel a lot sharper,” he said.

“Your whole focus is football rather than having another job and you’ve got to train on Tuesday and Thursday night.

“I definitely feel sharper for it. I’ve done well at this level before so I don’t see why I can’t push on.”

Asked whether Halifax’s part-time status in a mainly full-time league will have an effect on their season, Peniket added: “That does play a part. I think sometimes it’s down to the lads and how much they’re able to do away from it as well, if they’re able to get to the gym and keep themselves fit, that helps.

“But I do think it’s a big advantage to be full-time. With Halifax being a big club I think it would benefit them to go full-time.”