"It's been an absolute pleasure" - Pete Wild speaks to the Courier after his departure from FC Halifax Town

Former Town boss says it's been an "absolute pleasure" to have managed the club for the last three years.

By Tom Scargill
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 9:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 9:41 pm

Wild's departure was announced earlier this evening (Thursday), bringing an end to an impressive three year stint in which he twice guided Halifax into the National League play-offs.

"I came into an environment that was crisis management, being able to get through that, then being hit by Covid, then being trusted by the chairman to put my own stamp on things in the second year," Wild said.

"I really wanted to develop things, develop the football club. Just missing out, but then again being trusted by the chairman to see what we were doing was right and being able to go again this season.

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Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

"So I'd say crisis management, develop a plan and then deliver a plan and I think we've done that over the three years.

"We've tried our best to use every resource that was available to us.

"It's been an absolute pleasure, it's been a massive learning curve. I still think I've got a lot to learn, but like I said in the statement, being left to make mistakes and backed with every decision I've made, I couldn't have asked for more in what's been my proper first job."

Wild added: "I think we got every ounce out of every player we ever worked with.

"I think in every job you go into, you'd like to think when you leave that job, you've left it in a better place for the next person.

"Sometimes you don't get the rewards personally but you hope that the next person does, and I hope the next person who comes in has a platform to make it better than we made it, I truly hope that."

Wild feels he has developed a lot as a manager over his three years at the club.

"Massively, but I have had some massive support around me with my staff, especially Chris (Millington), he's been unbelievable, then you've got Joe (Sargison), you've got Az (Aaron Scholes, physio), Pogsy (Paul Oakes, goalkeeping coach) and Jacko the kit man, they've all helped in their own little special way and for that, it's made it a better learning experience," he said.

"I've never been lambasted for making mistakes, the chairman has let me make my own mistakes, he's backed me in every decision I've made, whether that's been the right decision or the wrong decision.

"They've all had their little part to play and as a learning environment for a young manager, that's been fantastic."

When asked how difficult a decision it was to leave Halifax, Wild said: "It's been massive, massive. I've obviously had a lot of interest this year, I've obviously had a lot of places I could have gone to, I didn't because of respect to the chairman who gave me a chance, I didn't feel it was right to do it during the season.

"But I knew come the last ball kicked I had a decision to make. I just felt that football management is a short career, I felt that my ambitions are to manage as high as I can for as long as I can, and I just feel like now is the time to try and realise that ambition, and hopefully move to a club that's got similar aspirations to Halifax in terms of they've got a project they want to develop and they want to move forward.

"I wanted to make an incremental step instead of a massive step where I could have fallen by the wayside, and hopefully I've done that."

Wild was tight-lipped about where he will go next, although he has been strongly linked with League Two side Barrow, who are expected to announce their new manager tomorrow.

"Things will hopefully become more apparent in the next 24 hours of where and what I'm doing," Wild said.

"I didn't really want to move sideways to a team in this league, I wanted to move forwards and test myself, and hopefully I feel this next step is another massive test for me."

On his backroom team at Town, Wild said: "There's only me who's left currently. There will possibly be conversations over the next few weeks on both sides, whether Halifax wish to retain the staff that are in the building or whether they move, and I'll have those discussions at my next club with who will join or who will not join up with me."

Wild's departure is expected to be the start of a summer of upheaval at the club, with several players linked with moves away after catching the eye during the season.

"Before I left I gave my opinions on the players I felt the club should be offering and getting tied down and hopefully in the next few days those players will be told and then that'll be made public and they can crack on with trying to retain as much of the squad as they possibly can," Wild said.

The search now begins for Wild's successor.

When asked what he feels the next Town boss will be inheriting at The Shay, Wild said: "I think they're inheriting a club as one, players, staff, the club is as one.

"I think there's a clear youth development pathway for our players within the building, I think there's a core of excellent players there that are desperate to keep pushing forward with the football club, and I think that we've learned the lessons of the last three years of what it now takes to be at the top end, on and off the pitch.

"I think the club's in a fantastic position with an ambitious owner who just wants the best for the football club.

"I feel he's given me every support and every means necessary this year, with the Covid loan hanging over him, to succeed and I can't thank him enough for that."