Macdonald eager to make the step-up with The Shaymen

FC Halifax Town v York. Josh Macdonald
FC Halifax Town v York. Josh Macdonald

Josh Macdonald is determined to make the most of his move to Halifax after jumping up four divisions from former club Marske United.

The winger helped Marske to the Northern League Division One title last season in the ninth tier of English football, scoring 22 goals over the last two seasons.

The league, which is based in the north east, is the second oldest football league in the world and features only amateur sides.

Macdonald joined Marske after being released by his boyhood club Middlesbrough, and he admits dropping into non-league was a bit of a culture shock.

“It was totally different (at Marske) because it’s a man’s game and I was used to playing with players my own age.

“It’s what you need though. If you’re going to do anything in the game you need to be experiencing that.

“Now I’ve moved up to playing for Halifax I’m just determined to get in the team and play as much as I can.

“It’s a massive opportunity for me so I’ve got to grasp it while I’m here.”

Macdonald admits it was a dream come true to join the team he supported as a child, and was bitterly disappointed to leave.

“I was at Leeds when I was younger but I left there because it was just too far travelling, plus I was at school, so it was difficult to fit it all in,” he said.

“Middlesbrough was closer to home so they took me on.

“I was there until I was 16 then I got released.

“I was only a young kid. I was devastated but everyone gets knock-backs in their life.

“I took it on the chin, worked hard and tried to improve myself.

“I went to Marske, got my head down and worked hard there.”

Macdonald credits his former boss Carl Jarrett, who took him to Marske, with helping him develop as a player.

“I was playing for Stockton Town under 18s and Carl, who was the Billingham Town manager, saw something in me and took me along to play for them in the Northern League.

“I did a year there and the Marske came in for me. I did two years there.

“Carl then got the job there and he was a massive help in me stepping up to this level.”

The winger was then one of 36 players to take part in a specially-arranged trial game by The Shaymen at the end of last season.

Town subsequently snapped him up, despite interest from a Football League club, and have been impressed by his attitude since the start of pre-season.

“I had two years at Marske and my agent sorted me a couple of trial games out,” Macdonald explained.

“Halifax wanted me to come down and play in one and thankfully they liked what they saw.

“I went into it wanting to do well and hoping I could impress them, and thinking something might come of it.”

Macdonald is enjoying life at The Shay and believes the newly-assembled squad is gradually gelling together.

“All the boys are great. They’ve all welcomed me. The experienced lads have been great, players you can look up to and learn from.

“I’ve fitted in really well.

“The boys have gelled together, everyone’s getting to know each other and I think we showed that during pre-season.”