"We've already started conversations" - Discussions underway with potential new signings, says Town boss Millington

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Halifax manager Chris Millington says conversations with potential new signings have begun.

The Town boss says those spoken to so far are "mainly players who we'd be considering down the spine of the team" and that discussions will be continuing this week.

"We've got a huge list of targets and we've already started conversations with a number of people about whether or not Halifax Town's a realistic option for them, whether or not geographically it works, whether or not financially, with ballpark figures, it would work," the Town boss told the Courier.

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"Narrowing down numbers in that sense has already started and one or two meetings with individuals have already taken place and more will be taking place to discuss in more details what their wants and needs are and whether or not they match with ours."

Chris MillingtonChris Millington
Chris Millington

Among those Town will be in the market for is a new striker following the departure of Rob Harker earlier this month.

"Don't forget, we had a forward who was potentially a 20 goal a season player in Milli Alli who we let go in January," Millington said.

"We may well have another one of those already in the building so the temptation is always to look outside and keep looking for this wonderful striker who's desperate to come and play for Halifax Town and we sometimes neglect to look at the ones we've got in the building.

"So if we can find one in-house first, then we will do.

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"Of course, we've got lists and lists of strikers, but what the fans will have to appreciate is anyone who comes in will be unproven.

"We ain't going to be in a position to be able to afford a ready-made, National League 20-plus goal striker, so they'll have to get behind whoever comes in and really encourage them and support them to become that player."

Millington says Town will also be contacting their out-of-contract players this week for their decisions.

"That's a job for this week, the lads have had their offers a few days so we'll start chasing up and hopefully by this time next week we'll have a clear idea of where we stand," he said.

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The Shaymen announced at the start of the month that Luke Summerfield, Rob Harker, Tom Wilson and Tom Scott had left the club.

Town have offered new deals to all their other out-of-contract players and taken up the options on Ryan Galvin, Jo Cummings, Festus Arthur, Jack Evans and Max Wright.

"We'll be ambitious and we'll hopefully be stronger, that's the aim," Millington said.

"If we assume the worst, which is that we do lose some of those players that have been with us a couple of seasons and have become excellent National League players, and players who we expect to see playing in the Football League at some point in their future, then some of the players we've got at the moment are aspiring to become that level.

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"So it's on us as a staff and those players we've got in the building to step up and become the next Milli Allis, the next Jesse Debrahs, the next Jack Seniors.

"The players in the building have got the right environment, they've got the staff around them and they've got the opportunity to step up and become that level of player, so that's what we'll be working towards."

One player on his way out of the club is young striker Justin Iwobi.

While fellow young players Jimiel Chikukwa, Frankie Sinfield and Ted Lavelle will be part of the first-team squad for pre-season, forward Iwobi has been made available for transfer.

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"We feel Frankie, Jimiel and Ted have all got an opportunity in pre-season try and establish themselves as first-team players," Millington said.

"They've all had very good seasons in development terms, whether they're fully ready to play National League is down to them to prove now.

"If not, then we'll give them more time out on loan to develop.

"With Justin, we've had a very honest conversation and we'll make him available for transfer because we just feel that after the three loan experiences he's had and where he's at in his development, it's going to be a bit too much of a stretch for him to establish himself at National League level in the near future, so we feel his opportunities might be better served elsewhere than within our club for the short-term."

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Millington says he is aiming to work with a squad of around 22 or 23 first-team players next season and that he hopes around 80 per cent of his squad will be in place by the time Town return for pre-season training on July 1.

Halifax have already announced pre-season friendlies away to Hyde on Tuesday, July 9, Alvechurch on Saturday, July 20 and Ashton United on Tuesday, July 30, with their final warm-up game set to be played on Saturday, August 3, a week before the start of the new campaign.

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