FC Halifax Town: Walker amazed at Shaymen’s transformation after reaching FA Trophy final

Football - FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Guiseley. Sam Walker
Football - FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Guiseley. Sam Walker

Sam Walker admits it’s been quite a turnaround after FC Halifax Town secured their place in the FA Trophy final just four months after they were rock-bottom of the National League.

Since then, Town have lost just three of their 23 games under Jim Harvey, including five of their seven FA Trophy matches.

Speaking after the 2-2 draw with Nantwich last Saturday, Walker reflected: “Karl (Lenighan, goalkeeping coach) was saying in the dressing room, if you’d said after the first handful of games that we’d be in the Trophy final, he wouldn’t have believed it.

“After that Grimsby game, if you’d said we’d be meeting them again in May at Wembley, you wouldn’t have believed it.

“But it’s a brilliant feeling.

“When you have that two goal cushion you don’t want to relax, but they played well, they were on the front foot.

“They’ve got a few good players who caused us problems. But the main thing is we got over the line.”

Walker feels reaching the FA Trophy final is just reward for the Town supporters.

“It’s been a long old season for the fans and they’ve stuck with us all the way,” Walker said.

“I can imagine it’s been frustrating for them at times but we’ve played well in the Trophy and to reward them with a memorable day out is what they deserve.

“The most important thing we take from this season is that we have to be a National League club at the end of it.

“You look around the stadium last Saturday, all the fans that were there, it’s a Conference club, if not higher.

“The goal is to stay in the league and we’ll do our utmost to make sure that happens.”

Walker insists a place in the team for Wembley is not his motivation from now to the end of the season, and wants the rest of the team, like himself, to focus on preserving their National League status.

He added: “We’ve got to put it to the back of our mind now.

“We’re back here for Altrincham on Saturday and that’s the only thing that matters.

“It’s a massive game. It’d be great if we could get anywhere near the numbers we had last Saturday.

“If we can take three points out of that then it puts us on the right path to be kicking on.

“We’ve got a few more games at The Shay before the season finishes against teams that are in and around us.

“We certainly can’t afford to lose but with us being at home we want to win and stick a few goals in. I can guarantee that will be the aim.

“If I play one week, I’m just thinking I want to play well so I’m in the team the next week.

“I’m not really looking at can I play well so I’m in for the final - I want to be in the team all the time.”