Part-time status won’t be a problem, insists Riley

Martin Riley -Pic by: Richard Parkes
Martin Riley -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Martin Riley believes FC Halifax Town can put up a strong showing in the National League next season despite their part-time status.

Riley will be part-time himself for the first time in his career with The Shaymen next season after leaving Wrexham.

But the defender insists there isn’t much difference between what a full-time club and a part-time club does, and is quietly confident Town can make an impact in the division.

“We’ll be training Tuesday and Thursday, but Mondays at full-time clubs are usually recovery days anyway, so we’re only losing one full day a week compared to professional teams.

“If you look at it that way I don’t think it will be a disadvantage.

“I wouldn’t have signed if I thought we were going to struggle.

“We’ll need to be organised, stand up to teams physically.

“It’s a very physical league, but being organised is the main thing. If we’re organised and solid we’ll do well.”

The 30-year-old says a phone call with manager Billy Heath played a huge part in his decision to come to The Shay.

“I’m coming in as an experienced player. I had a great phone conversation with Billy Heath and it just seemed to be the right fit,” he said.

“It’s a massive club and the manager’s got a great track record. He’s won two consecutive promotions and he’s a winner.

“It was all about finding the right club and the right fit for me. I’ve got business interests as well that I had to take into consideration.

“I still feel that I’ve got a lot of football left in me.

“I’m going part-time for the first time this season. I’m not sure how that’ll work out but I don’t think it will be a problem.”

Riley won the player-of-the-year award at Wrexham last season, and admits he was shocked to then be released by manager Dean Keates.

“I was very surprised,” Riley added. “I don’t think that happens often in football but that’s the way it is, especially in lower league football with the turnover of players and managers. It’s a mad industry.

“It was hard to take, doing so well for a manager and then he turns around and says he’s not offering you a contract. It was a bit of a stab in the back.

“I had two great seasons there. We struggled as a team last year but personally it was a pretty good season.

“But I’m a Halifax player now and I’ll be looking to take six points off Wrexham next season.”