Shaymen closing in on new deals for three of last season's squad, says Millington

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Chris Millington hopes to have deals agreed soon for three more of last season's Halifax squad.

Negotiations are said to be at an advanced stage with goalkeepers Sam Johnson and Tom Scott and loanee Max Wright, who left Harrogate at the end of last season.

"We're well on with negotiations in both cases," the Town boss said of the two goalkeepers, "so I'm hopeful we can bring them both back to the club for the start of the season."

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And on winger Wright, Millington said: "Similar, quite advanced stages of negotiations so hopefully the club will have some news on all three of those in the next week or so."

Chris MillingtonChris Millington
Chris Millington

Defender Jesse Debrah's future continues to appear elsewhere.

"He's got an awful lot to consider," said Millington.

"There's an offer on the table from us, which is an incredibly strong offer from us, but there's also exceptional offers from some very impressive clubs I believe.

"We are where we were a number of weeks ago. Common wisdom would assume Jesse will be playing higher up the pyramid come the start of next season."

Forward Mani Dieseruvwe's future is also undecided as yet.

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"He's in a position where he's got a lot of suitors and a lot of interest," Millington said.

"We're maintaining contact with him at the moment whilst he weighs up his options, so I don't anticipate anything imminent happening with Mani but we're certainly going to keep ourselves in the conversation and see where it goes."

On his potential forward options, Millington said: "We've got a good number of forwards, we've got Rob Harker, Milli Alli, Angelo Cappello will be moving into the number ten role, we've got Jamie Cooke who plays the number ten role.

"There'll be another number nine (Dieseruvwe or a replacement) as competition for Rob and we wouldn't rule out adding another player who can do both the nine and ten role."

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Town lost three of their squad last week as Kian Spence, Jack Senior and Harvey Gilmour all left the club.

Spence has linked up with former Town boss Pete Wild at Barrow.

Millington said Halifax will receive compensation for Spence, which will be negotiated over the coming weeks

"It's probably not a great surprise there, but good luck to him," said the Town manager.

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"We were desperate to get him out playing again but he's just not been able to get out on the pitch.

"It's certainly through no fault of anyone at Halifax Town, every assistance was afforded to him to try and get him playing and we were unable to do that."

On Senior, Millington said: "We spoke at length with Jack about what comes next coming towards the end of the season and had a lot of conversations with his agent.

"Jack reassured me that the only way he was going to go was if he got a really irresistible League Two offer and Doncaster have obviously presented that.

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"I know it wasn't an easy decision for Jack, he's really blossomed and flourished in his time at Halifax Town and we wish him all best and we send him on his way with a sense of satisfaction that he served the club very well."

Millington said Senior would have been in contention to be Halifax captain next season had he stayed.

"We'll make that decision once the squad is assembled but he was one of the leaders within the group so he would have been right in the mix when that decision was made," he said.

And on Gilmour, the Town boss said: "Harvey's done two seasons with us, the interesting comparison there is Jack's done three and gone to Doncaster.

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"He's certainly developed a level of consistency over the season and my hope for him was that over the coming season, he'd have established his reputation as a central midfielder with us and then at the end of the season, possibly moved on to bigger and better things, similar to Jack Senior.

"He's made a decision based on personal circumstances that means Rochdale suits him better than Halifax Town.

"Our job is to make sure we prove we should have been the better option, but we send him on his way with our best wishes and we're incredibly grateful for the time and service he gave to the club."

Millington is pragmatic about the losses, and says while it comes with the territory at The Shay, he hopes there are things that can be done to alleviate the issue.

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"What we have to recognise is that we are going to lose players at certain points throughout their time at Halifax Town," he said.

"If we're losing them at the end of their contract, that's something we've got very little control over, especially if we've made very competitive offers to them to try and retain them.

"The cold, hard fact is that some clubs are better off than us and can pay more money, that's just how it is.

"The way we're working at the moment is trying to increase the longevity of these players at Halifax Town by doing more due diligence, working harder at the beginning when we offer them contracts and trying to secure them on longer-term deals.

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"So not only do we benefit from having them around longer but they also contribute and make sure they give back to the club and the fans over a longer period of time.

"We recognise we are going to lose players at certain moments within their Halifax Town careers and we've got to try and make sure we're able to keep hold of them as long as we can, but also that we've got that continuity of players coming through, either already in the building or identified as ready to bring in when we do lose players from the squad."

When asked if there would be any more departures from the club, he said: "At the moment I don't anticipate there'll be any movement.

"It changes quickly, as some of the other clubs get towards the end of their recruitment process and maybe miss out, they might start looking at some of our players as alternatives.

"You can't rule out that happening but at the moment, there are certainly no noises to suggest there's any interest in any of our current squad."

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