New signing Jordan Preston says Town manager Jamie Fullarton’s knowledge and ambition “sold the club” to him.
Preston was impressed by Fullarton’s in-depth research into him when they met, and says the Town manager’s pitch convinced him Halifax was the right move.
Preston says a few other clubs were interested in him, after signing a one-year contract at The Shay from Gateshead.
“I met the manager, and he sold the club to me,” says Preston. “His ambition to bring the club on was brilliant and I think it will provide me with the best chance to get back into the league
“He was so in-depth. He knows so much about players, he knew my stats from the under 18’s right up to last season with Gateshead.
“He took me through how I can get better and what I’m good at now
“When a manager takes the time to do all that it’s really impressive.
“I was thinking ‘how do you know all that?’
“I know he did a lot of self-scouting when he wasn’t a manager.
“He knew what players he wanted he wanted to bring in and the players he already had, how he wanted the team to play, and how he wanted to play me.”
Preston started his career at Sheffield United, where he played alongside Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and was was bought by Blackburn aged 14.
“It was a lot to take in but it was good,” Preston says of the move. “I’ve still got mates who are 22 who don’t know how to do washing but I had to learn things like that early on.”
He went on loan to Ayr United but was released after his contract expired at Ewood Park.
“It was at a time when the club had had a few different managers but I didn’t want to play reserve team football,” says Preston, from Barnsley. “I wanted first-team football so it was the best thing. It’s the best decision I ever made going into non-league.”
He then had a season at Guiseley and a season at Gateshead in the National League.
“I had to get used to the physical side of it (non-league football), plus you’ve got something to play for, there are people’s jobs at stake,” Preston said.
“I think I’ve got about 150 first team appearances under my belt which is pretty rare for someone of my age.
“I’ve had two different seasons really in the National League. My first season with Guiseley I was raw. I had a good season, scoring seven or eight goals..
“I felt good but still raw, but it was a good experience.
“But I wasn’t consistent enough last season with Gateshead and we underachieved as a team.
“I didn’t really play as much as I would have liked in my favoured position at Gateshead.
“I like to play in the number 10 role just behind the striker, although I can also play on the left of a front three.
“There was a change of manager quite early on at Gateshead so we played different positions quite a lot.”
When asked what he will bring to the Halifax team, Preston added: “I want to get on the ball. I hate playing the ball backwards. I love driving at players with the ball and I love to set up goals.
“I think I got 10 or 11 assists last season but I’m looking to get 10-plus goals this season.
“I think that is an area of my game I can improve on. I had the chances last season, it’s just a question of taking them.
“A lot of people look at me as a goal provider but hopefully they’ll start to look at me as a goal scorer soon as well.
“I’m very ambitious. First and foremost I’d like to get there or thereabouts with Halifax, but I definitely want to play as high as I can. I think most players in non-league would say the same that they want to get into the Football League.”