‘Leading Town is a major honour’

MIDFIELD dynamo Tom Baker has said it will be a ‘privilege’ to lead FC Halifax Town out when they finally get their Blue Square North campaign underway against Corby Town at the Shay on Saturday.

Baker is no stranger to captaining the side as he wore the armband during Jim Vince’s tenure as manager.

However, Neil Aspin decided to elect Ryan Crossley in his first season in charge and former Bradford City defender Mark Bower last time out before handing the role back to a player who he has termed as ‘an inspiration to everybody around him’.

“I am extremely proud and it will be a privilege to captain the team this season,” said Baker. “I have done the job before and really enjoyed it.

“Both Ryan and Mark were brilliant captains and obviously they led promotion-winning sides so they are a tough act to follow.

“But it is a real honour and I will give the role my best shot.”

Supporters will be delighted to know that Baker has no plans to temper his tough tackling, all-action style as he looks to lead by example in the Shaymen’s new league surroundings.

And he is confident that Town can make their mark in Blue Squre North this season after Aspin’s canny team building and a good pre-season campaign.

“At the end of every season it is obvious that players are going to leave and others come in,” added Baker. “Since Neil has been here he has done what good managers do and replaced those that have left with equally good players and even better ones.

“With no disrespect to last season’s squad, I definitely think we are stronger this time. It is a new league and it is going to be tough, but we are ready for the challenge. We are not going in there to make up the numbers.”

Baker understands that following two promotions there will be a certain amount of expectation, not least from the fans.

However, he is certain that the players will be able to handle the pressure and is backing the club to continue it’s rise back up the football pyramid.

“The expectation is always high because Halifax Town are really a Football League club,” said Baker. “We have just got to handle it and try to be as professional as we possibly can.

“The lads can’t wait to get started. We have been fine-tuning our fitness this week and we are all now champing at the bit.

“It is good that our first game is at home because that can be an advantage, but we have a strong squad and hopefully at the end of the season we will be there or thereabouts.”

SUPPORTERS wishing to travel to Town’s first Blue Square North away game of the season at Blyth Spartans next Tuesday are advised that transport will leave the Shay at 4pm.

The cost is £16 return. Contact the Traveline on 07707 143094 to book.