"We won't be lacking for effort, put it that way" - Ex-Town caretaker-boss Young out to add Shaymen to his list of cup scalps

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Former Halifax caretaker-boss Neil Young is aiming to add The Shaymen to his list of higher-division cup casualties on Saturday.

Young admits his Marine side will need to be at their best to beat Town in their FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie on Saturday.

Marine are fifth in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, two divisions lower than The Shaymen, but have racked up some impressive scalps under Young in recent seasons.

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Young, who joined Marine in September 2018, led the club to a memorable run to the third round of the competition in 2020/21, where they played Tottenham, having knocked out higher-division Chester, Colchester United and Havant and Waterlooville.

Neil YoungNeil Young
Neil Young

When asked what Halifax can expect from his Marine team, Young told the Courier: "A committed team. We're under no illusions of the size of the task, I've watched quite a lot of Halifax since the draw was made, they're a very good side, work really hard.

"But that's us, we work really hard. We've had some good results, in my time at the club we've maybe knocked out 15 teams from higher leagues in the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

"Spennymoor was a fairly big scalp for us, they're doing well in the Conference North,

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"The number of games is our problem, I think by the end of this month, in 12 weeks of our season we'll have played 22 games, so that's a big ask for a part-time team with a fairly small squad.

"But we're 12 unbeaten at the moment and we're improving all the time.

"What you'll see is a strong, committed side, but we're under no illusions of the size of the task."

Young joined Halifax as head of recruitment in September 2017, taking over as caretaker-manager in 2018 after Billy Heath's dismissal and holding the fort until the appointment of Jamie Fullarton.

"I had a good relationship with everybody there," he said.

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"I thought we did well when I was caretaker-manager, we took four points from nine.

"We drew at Wrexham in my first game, I think they were top of the league at the time, and then we had a big-six-pointer at home against Hartlepool, which we managed to win 2-0 and played really well.

"I met some really good people there. Even when I was coming through as manager at Chester we had some real good ding-dongs with Neil's (Aspin) teams."

Marine have already beaten Guiseley, Spennymoor and Hyde in this season's competition.

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"I'm always positive," Young said on how he rates their chances this weekend. "They're a team from two leagues above, doing really well, just outside the play-off places, had two great results recently.

"So we're under no illusions of the size of the task but we're in good form ourselves, hopefully we'll get one or two back fit from last weekend.

"It's a big old pitch at Halifax, you've got to cover a lot of ground.

"We know Halifax work really hard and press really hard, they're a well-drilled, well-coached team, I can see that from the three games I've seen.

"We'll be going there and giving it our best shot."

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Ex-Halifax midfielder Liam Nolan, now of Marine, has been out for around six weeks with an injury so is unlikely to feature on Saturday.

But fellow former Shayman Louis White will be involved.

"He's been very good for us, probably one of our standout players so far," said Young.

"We were really short last weekend at Marske.

"We're going to be without three or four players and we probably won't be able to fill the full bench.

"But I'm happy with what we're going there with."

Young guided Marine to promotion into the Northern Premier League Premier Division in 2022 and has also won the Liverpool Senior Cup with the club, as well as his impressive cup exploits.

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"I don't have an ego and I consider myself to be quite pragmatic and respect the opposition, and try to nullify their strengths the best you can, and then try and impose your own on them," he said.

"I think I've built up a trust with the players over a long period of time in terms of how we set-up for games, for one-off games, based on what we've achieved in the past.

"It's not a case of we'll just go our way and hopefully we're better than you, I've got to be a realist and see what the strengths of Halifax are.

"On paper they've got a stronger squad than ourselves, but it's a one-off game and we'll be set-up to hopefully try and nullify them the best we can.

"We've got to be the best we can on the day but the lads have continually done it over a long period of time.

"We won't be lacking for effort, put it that way."