Graham Hutchison is ready for the step-up to playing for Halifax after graduating from the school of hard knocks at Worcester.
The 22-year-old defender is yet to make his Town début as he was ineligible to play in the FA Trophy having played against The Shaymen in the first round for Worcester in December.
But he could be set for his Halifax bow against Dover this weekend after fellow centre-back Steve Williams sustained a hamstring injury during Town’s 1-0 defeat to Wrexham on Tuesday.
Hutchison started his career at Lincoln before sealing a move to then Premier League side Birmingham City in 2010.
But Hutchison left St Andrews to join Worcester in 2013 without making a senior appearance for The Blues.
Hutchison is philosophical about his spell with Birmingham, and believes he has benefited more as a player from his time at Worcester.
“Alex McLeish was the Birmingham manager at the time, obviously a Scottish manager, so that’s probably why he signed me,” joked Hutchison.
“If I was English he wouldn’t have!
“But Alex was a great guy, he looked after me.
“I was lucky enough to play under some really good managers at Birmingham.
“It wasn’t really proper football though, it was academy football.
“No first team actually plays like that so it was a good education but I got a better real football education from Worcester.
“Birmingham was more about working on your technical ability whereas Worcester was learning the game, playing two games a week, bad conditions, big strikers, small strikers.
“That’s when I really learnt how to play football.
“I’ve broken my nose a few times as well - I had a straight nose until I went to Worcester!”
Hutchison admits leaving Birmingham when he did was the right decision, even though he enjoyed his time at St Andrews.
“It was a big move but at 17 years of age,” he said, “but you just take it in your stride, nothing really fazes you when you’re that age.
“It was a big step up seeing all the first team players and the famous faces.
“But leaving there probably did me good. I came down to Worcester and I got a proper education in football and it’s done me the world of good.”
The former Worcester captain is relishing the chance to get started at the Shay, a move which came as a surprise to the defender.
“It was a move I was really interested in. I spoke to the gaffer and liked what he had to say so I’m really happy to be here.
“It all happened pretty quickly but it’s probably better that way than thinking about it for a few weeks, it was nice to get it done quickly.
“Obviously there were a lot of scouts at our games with us having the cup-run, but there were never any names mentioned.
“So it was as much a surprise to me as anyone else.
“I’ve been at Worcester for the last year-and-a-half and really enjoyed it there but I’m more than happy to be here now and I can’t wait to get started.
“It’s unfortunate I’m cup-tied for the FA Trophy but if I can keep fit hopefully I can get in the side.
“It is a step-up. It’s a league above, Halifax are challenging for promotion so we’ll see how it goes.
“They looked a good team when we played them. They were strong, physical, did well on the ball, created chances.
“We just need to keep pushing and see what we can achieve.”