"I absolutely love it" - Senior's pride in wearing the captain's armband for Shaymen

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It's hard to believe too many other players have won the FC Halifax Town armband with as much pride as Jack Senior.

The defender has been acting as stand-in while skipper Tom Clarke and vice-captain Jordan Keane have been unavailable for most of the last few weeks.

Senior has carried out the task with the professionalism and passion that Town supporters have come to associate with the 25-year-old's performances.

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And it is obvious just how much the role means to Halifax-born Senior.

Jack Senior. Photo: Marcus BranstonJack Senior. Photo: Marcus Branston
Jack Senior. Photo: Marcus Branston

"I love it, I love it," he said.

"To be given the thought of doing it, representing the lads and the town and the team on a Saturday, it's a privilege and it's something I'm absolutely loving.

"I've got a great relationship with the manager, he's given me a lot more responsibility this year and it's something I'm really enjoying.

"I absolutely love it, it just means that bit more, and it's something I've had in me but to finally take it on board, I'm really enjoying it.

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"But at the same time, I've still got a job to do for my team-mates and for myself as well.

"It's only while we've had Keano (Jordan Keane) and Tom Clarke out injured, and they're great captains.

"I've been speaking to them for pieces of advice here and there.

"I've got quite a bit of responsibility in the team this year and it's something I'm really enjoying.

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"Just to be thought of for the captaincy is something that I'm really thankful to the gaffer for."

When asked what kind of captain he is, Senior said: "I think I'm a vocal captain who demands from others but at the same time, is appreciative of others.

"I'd like to think I'm one of the first to let people know when they're doing something well, to breed that confidence into people as individuals and as a team.

"I think I'm a captain that demands standards and I think while I've had the armband, that's what I've been doing.

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"I'm quite passionate with it as well because it's a big responsibility to have while I have the opportunity.

"I'd say I'm vocal, I let people know when they're doing well and demanding of people when things aren't going well, but someone who tries to keep a unity between the team for 90 minutes."

Senior has been used as a left centre-back in a back three for Town in recent weeks, a role he has relished.

"It's different in the sense that you're more at the heart of defence, which is something I've not played before," he said.

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"When I was first told I was going to play there, I was excited because I've always wondered what the challenge would be like and it's certainly one that, over the past three or four games, I've really enjoyed.

"Just adding another string to your bow, being more at the heart of it - the principles are still the same, keeping a clean sheet and defending well is the same throughout the back three, back four or back five, whether I'm playing left-back, left wing-back or left-sided centre-half.

"My mentality is still the same, I want a clean sheet, but again, there's trust there from the gaffer to play me there.

"But I'll play wherever in this team."

And Senior feels The Shaymen can play a back three or back four equally well.

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"I think we've got clever players in this team who are adaptable to both formations," he said.

"Over the season so far, we've had good games as a three and bad games as a three, and the same with a back four.

"It's a good position to be in where you can adapt to different teams.

"I play in whatever formation I'm told and give my best."

Senior is closing in on 100 appearances for Town since joining in the summer of 2020.

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"I've never been close to a milestone like that, and it's even more special that it's at a club in a town where I've grown up all my life," he said.

"It's something I'm really proud of, in terms of the milestone and the club I've achieved it at."

After a rocky start to the season, Halifax are on a firmer footing now thanks to a good run of form, which saw them win five out of eight games in the league prior to last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Yeovil.

"We've just had to be a bit patient in terms of results but the hard work we've been doing all season has started to come to fruition," Senior said.

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"We're in a better place but we can still continue to be in a better position going forward.

"I think we're a team that's just starting to fully come together, it's clicking more than it did at the beginning of the season.

"There's always the extra 10, 15 per cent, if not more, and I think there is more to come from us.

"I think the tough start we had has, in some respects, stood us in good stead when we've been in certain situations, and not letting that happen again, because we weren't happy with what was going on.

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"But I think we've turned a corner, there is more to come from us and we definitely believe as a group that we can continue as we're going.

"If we continue on the path we're on right now, I think there's more than enough in this squad and staff to be pushing further up the table."

Halifax are closer to the play-off places than the relegation zone in the National League, but are the joint-lowest scorers in the fifth tier.

However, Senior retains belief that Town can fire themselves up in amongst the league's promotion contenders.

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"We were shipping goals quite easily at the beginning and we've got better at that in the last month or two," he said.

"We're the joint-lowest scorers in the league, but there's still plenty of chances to be had.

"There'd be a problem if we weren't creating chances, and I back the lads going forward to put the chances away nine times out of ten, we're just not scoring as much as we'd like to, but that's football, it happens.

"I've got full faith in the lads to get us goals. Yes we've got the joint-lowest goals in the league, but that's not a criticism and I've got full belief in all the lads to get a goal from anywhere."

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Senior believes Town's lack of goals is not a true reflection of what he sees in training.

"No, not at all," he said. "The stat is there for everyone to see, but I see them day in, day out, everyone working hard, doing the extras.

"The strikers doing their finishing, and it goes throughout the team, you've got your defenders doing their extras, everyone doing extras.

"Maybe the emphasis might be on goals at the minute but the desire to change that is there, day in, day out."

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Halifax host Chesterfield on Saturday in a 12.30pm kick-off, with the teams meeting for the first time since The Spireites knocked Town out of the play-offs in May.

Senior says The Shaymen will be out to show Chesterfield and the rest of the league they can compete at the top end of the table, despite being 15 points short of Saturday's visitors ahead of the match.

"They're up there with the bigger teams in the league but, going into the game, there's full belief in what we can do against a team like that," Senior said.

"The most recent example being Solihull, going there and beating them away after no-one else had done that all year.

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"Chesterfield are another example, and if we want to do anything in this league, then they're the types of teams we need to put in a performance against."

A win on Saturday would be a boost to Senior's hopes of producing another top seven finish this season.

When asked what he believes Halifax can achieve this campaign, Senior said: "Nothing that wasn't said before.

"The way it's gone now, the position we're in, I think the minimum, for us to get anything out of the season, is play-offs.

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"To be sat in this position, after the tough start we had, to be five points off the play-offs, I think is a positive in itself.

"We've got ourselves away from that relegation scrap, but we shouldn't be thinking about what's below us.

"We've got ourselves in this position now, and it's how we get ourselves even further up the table.

"Getting into the play-offs and being in and around it come the end of the season, that's where we'd want to be as a minimum."

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