Nogan warns that Conference will get tougher

Lee Nogan
Lee Nogan

Assistant manager Lee Nogan is warning things won’t get any easier for The Shaymen in next season’s Conference.

The Town number two believes the division will become even more competitive with the additions of promoted clubs from the Conference North and South.

AFC Fylde, who are owned by multi-millionaire David Haythornthwaite, were knocked out in the Conference North play-offs, but Barrow, who won the division, are owned by millionaire American businessman Paul Casson.

Whitehawk, who could also be playing against Town next season if they win their Conference South play-off final against Boreham Wood on Saturday, are owned by two wealthy local businessmen who have invested money in the club.

Town finished ninth in the Conference this season, but Nogan is under no illusions about what to expect next term.

“It’s always a challenge because other teams are catching up and teams in the lower leagues are catching us,” he said.

“We’re going to be behind some of these teams coming up, like Barrow, because they have big budgets.

“So the only reason the better players are going to come to Halifax is because what Neil (Aspin) has achieved or to play at a higher level.

“It won’t be for financial reasons.”

Nogan was happy with Halifax’s 2014-15 campaign, despite a decline in form towards the end of the season that saw them win only one of their last 15 games.

“Obviously it was a disappointing end losing four games on the spin but we’ve got a top 10 finish,” he said.

“Following on from last season, everyone’s expectations were that we’d do that again, but we’re more realistic and for where we are and what we do as a part-time team, it’s a good finish for us.

“The start was excellent but we didn’t get carried away with that and we need to go away and refresh ourselves for next season.

“Our consistency towards the end was poor.

“It’s a tough league, anyone can beat anyone, whether you’re full-time or part-time.”

Nogan, a former striker with Watford and Reading, admitted the goals of Lee Gregory proved impossible to replace.

He added: “Gregory scored 30 goals - where else are you going to get 30 goals from?

“We’ve brought enough strikers in and looked at different things.

“You’ve got to try and concede less and maybe nick some games, which we were doing.

“But to go and find someone who’s going to score you 30 goals is very difficult.

“We’re part-time. We were lucky to have Greggs evolve over a few seasons and that took time.

“If you look for someone who’s going to get you 15 or 20 goals you’ll be happy but you need other players to chip in.

“Lois (Maynard) has done that but consistency in our play is the main thing.

“Not necessarily individually but team performances and that’s not been good enough, especially over the last couple of months.”