"There's no doubt in my mind that I can score goals for Halifax Town," says striker Dierseruvwe

As far as Mani Dierseruvwe is concerned, games will equal goals this season.

By Tom Scargill
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 8:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 8:47 am

The 6ft 5in striker looks set to be FC Halifax Town's main man up-front this campaign, and face the task of filling the gap left by 20-goal forward Billy Waters' departure to Barrow.

But Dierseruvwe feels goals will follow games for him this season and says he is "more than confident" he can find the net regularly at this level.

"Obviously my record last year shows that given the opportunity and the chances I can score goals," said Dierseruvwe, who netted seven times in 15 games on loan at Grimsby at the end of last season.

Mani Dierseruvwe. Photo: Marcus Branston

"My goal record wasn't bad there, my goals per minute was quite low considering some of the other strikers in the league.

"I wasn't perhaps starting games there like I would have hoped, but it was really nice to be part of the club's journey, it was a good experience.

"For me now, it's about being a striker that's playing games, I need to play as many games as possible, I need to put games back-to-back.

"But there's no doubt in my mind that I can score goals for Halifax Town."

And Dierseruvwe is hopeful of being given enough of a run in the side to find his form.

"From the conversations I've had with the gaffer, I'd like to think so, but football isn't as straightforward as you think sometimes," he said.

"I'd hope to be given that early on in the season and I have to repay that, so I think it's down to me at the end of the day, to cement my place into the team.

"Hopefully I'll be playing from the start of the season, but it's down to me to keep my spot in the team, I take nothing for granted.

"I'm not coming here thinking it's going to be easy, the National League's a tough, tough league to get out of, only two teams can, but we'll be trying our best to be one of them."

Dierseruvwe feels he will fit in with what is expected to be Town's system of 4-2-3-1, or a variation of it.

"From the conversations I've had with the gaffer, he told me about the kind of formation the club's been playing the last few years and that did appeal to me because I like to play down the middle, and with wingers either side that can put balls in the box for me to score goals," he said.

"So it was something I felt would suit me and hopefully that materialises, and we can get a good relationship between the likes of myself, Matty Warburton, Harvey Gilmour, I can get service from there and whenever I'm playing, hopefully I can put my chances away."

The 6ft 5in striker is also happy to be Town's first line of defence and press from the front.

"We've touched on that in training and I think it's a really dynamic game now so you have to be able to run, compete, press and play at an intensity that can hurt defenders," he said.

"I'll definitely be pulling my weight and making sure I'm leading the press whenever I'm playing."

Dierseruvwe hasn't set any targets yet for the season ahead.

"My main focus is getting through each day in pre-season and making sure I'm ready for the season," he said.

"I want to get as fit as I possibly can come the start of the season, and when that time comes, I'll look to play as many games as possible.

"I don't have any issues on the goals I've scored in my career or haven't scored, I feel I need to play the games first and foremost to be able to get those goals.

"That's my mentality and focus at the minute, to make sure I'm fit and ready to go."

And when the season gets underway, the forward is backing himself to be Town's leading man in-front of goal.

"As a striker, you're judged on goals, that's the be all and end all," he said.

"So as a striker you have to put that pressure on yourself to get the goals.

"It's what wins football matches so it is an important aspect of the game.

"I definitely won't shirk any responsibility about scoring goals and I'll be the first one to hold my hand up when I've missed a chance or whatever.

"I feel I can definitely take that responsibility on this season and get as many goals as possible and win as many games as possible."

Dierseruvwe started his career at Sheffield Wednesday, which he describes as "a good experience" to learn his trade.

The striker made his professional debut for Hyde in the fifth tier, one of 11 different clubs he has played for, and one of eight loan spells he has had.

"When you're a younger player, you have to find somewhere where you can find your feet and unfortunately for me it took me a while to get going," he said.

"I've had some good experiences, I've commuted a lot so I've travelled a lot, but I think my career so far has gone OK.

"I really want to come to Halifax and take it on that next step now.

"I spent four years out of the last five at Salford, obviously with a couple of short-term loans when I was coming back from injury, so I have been settled.

"But I've not played enough games, that's why I probably needed the loan moves here and there to get that.

"Then it's probably been the lack of goals I've scored at times, and sometimes not being the main striker at clubs.

"So it can be frustrating but it's all part and parcel of the experience.

"We all have our own personal journeys and you hope to be successful at the end of them."

Dierseruvwe said his time at Salford, where he played in the National League North, National League and League Two, was the most enjoyable of his career so far.

"When I was at Salford, we got promoted from the National League, I played the last 15 games of that season and then the first 10 at the start of the season in League Two," he said.

"That's when I was playing and scoring the most and that's when you're happiest as a footballer."

Dierseruvwe already has two promotions from the National League under his belt, and said he has come to Halifax for the hat-trick.

"I want to be challenging, and be in a team that's challenging for promotion," he said.

"I'm a hungry player, I'm hungry for success and I've definitely come here for promotion.

"The lads got into the play-offs last year and just fell short so I'm hoping I can bring something different to the team this year that maybe was missing last year, or bring something new that can help the team this season, and we can maybe go one better."