New Shaymen signing Minihan has "tunnel vision" on second successive promotion from National League

New Town signing Sam Minihan is targeting a second successive promotion into the Football League.

By Tom Scargill
Friday, 5th August 2022, 8:20 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 8:23 am

The full-back helped previous club Stockport County win the National League last season before leaving them to join Halifax.

And the 28-year-old says he has a "tunnel vision" focus on emulating his title win last year with The Shaymen.

"I guess there's always that natural frustration not to get a chance," he said of leaving Stockport after their promotion.

Sam Minihan

"That was my aim, to play in the Football League and that was an opportunity but I didn't get that there.

"But I can channel that into my energy here in getting this club back into the Football League.

"I've had some really positive chats already with the gaffer about when we achieve that, which we plan on doing, to then feature for them in the league as well.

"The hunger's there for me, the hunger's there for Halifax. They got close the last couple of years, so let's make it happen this year.

"The frustration of not playing in the league only drives my energy and my fire to get back into the Football League with Halifax.

"You can learn from that, and I'd like to use my experiences because I know what it's like to get promoted from this level.

"So I'll be offering my skill set and my experiences to drive all of that. The fire's 100 per cent there.

"The tunnel vision I've got is to get that promotion."

When asked what it takes for a team to gain promotion from the National League, Minihan said: "Relentlessness, because there's a lot of travelling, a lot of time away from family and friends, sacrifices.

"It's really just being relentless. It's tiring and it's tough because it's non-stop, game after game.

"But if you can keep those standards and stay relentless and persistent, even through the tough times, that's what stands you in good stead.

"I think that's the key, keeping that consistency."

Minihan knows all about the standards required to be successful in the National League, and the attitude and leadership to make it happen.

"It's everything, the finer details I guess," he said.

"Stretching before you go out to training, when you're training, make sure you're giving 100 per cent and you don't let standards drop, whether that be a pass, a touch, whatever, just the finer details.

"Gym times, making sure you're there on time, making sure you leave the areas tidy, these are things that count for a lot if you pay attention to the detail.

"On the pitch, it's all about not accepting mediocrity, not accepting poor passes, including myself. I think you've got to start by looking at yourself, so if I don't think I've done something right it's important to let people know I'm not happy about myself.

"Off the back of that, people will probably accept criticism more, but done in the right way, constructively."

Minihan started his career at Rochdale as a seven-year-old, playing for every age group at the club before reaching the first-team

He then went to Loughborough University where he studied for a degree in sports science, gaining a 2:1.

"I had too much fun to get a first!" he said.

In his last year at university, Minihan played for Worcester City, and was then signed by Stockport, where he stayed for six seasons.

Minihan joins other former County players Milli Alli, Harvey Gilmour, Festus Arthur, Jordan Keane, Jamie Stott and Matty Warburton at The Shay.

"You've got quite a few of us haven't you - the list goes on!" he said.

"I think it does help, obviously you've already got that team cohesion which saves a bit of time.

"Sometimes when you join a club you've got to work for a couple of weeks just to integrate yourself in, but we've already got that.

"It can take a bit of time if you don't know anyone you're playing with, personalities, the way they play, how they were to respond if you shout at them.

"So we're definitely a step ahead already.

"But you know the new lads as well from playing against them, and they're a very welcoming bunch.

"It's easy to fit in here and to feel part of the group. It's a tight-knit group here, you can see that already, so it's pretty easy to slide in.

"But it's all about what you do when the season starts and we plan on starting well."

Minihan says his first impressions of Halifax have been "really positive".

"We've made some really good signings, a good mix of experience and the younger lads," he said.

"There's strength-in-depth there as well so it's just about bringing all that together and working away to push for what we all want at the club."

And Minihan has been impressed by Town boss Chris Millington.

"I've known him for a while now and I've always liked his approach," he said.

"His attention to detail is very good but more importantly, the way he treats you as a person.

"I think it's a really good characteristic for a manager to have and he's definitely got that.

"Very welcoming when I got here, the chats we've had, it's a really good skill that I like in a manager and it's something he's got in abundance.

"Not only that, he's got a desire to go one better than last year, which he's made it very clear.

"We want to go one better, we don't just want to settle for play-offs and then missing out, we want to go that step further and I really buy into that."