Marshall: We’ll spend less, but work harder in 2017

Young centre James Woodburn-Hall scored twice
Young centre James Woodburn-Hall scored twice

Halifax coach Richard Marshall admitted there will be consequences from an indifferent 2016, with some reduction in the club’s football spending seen as inevitable.

Fax’s season ended in the frustrating style that has characterised much of their work this year, slipping 28-6 behind Sheffield in Sunday’s Championship Shield semi final, fighting back to within eight points, but fading in the closing minutes to lose 46-32.

And with the Shay’s South Stand shut for the first time - apparently as a cost cutting measure - and a crowd of only 946, defeat sent the rumour mill into frenzied overdrive.

But while Marshall said recruitment for the 2017 season was already well on the way to being concluded, he conceded there would be changes.

“Financially, it’s a big drop from last year,” he said.

“We have got most of the players we want signed up, but we are going to have to work harder as a club, on and off the field.

“We need people to stick with us and buy season tickets and we need to work hard commercially.

“The players and coaches will be back in during November and we’ll get ready to go again.

“There will be some changes now, there will be some cuts; we will reassess the size of the squad and we’ll probably lose some backroom staff.

“We’ll be trying hard to keep the reserves and what we’ve built there this year.

“We’ve got some fantastic players from that team.

“James Woodburn-Hall had a great game again, Brandon Moore’s been great, Nick Rawsthorne, Chester Butler, young Luke Nelmes.

“I’d hate to see all the work that’s gone in there go to waste.”

Marshall said a turning point in the game came with the scoreline at 34-26, when Gareth Moore’s pass - which would have put the impressive Woodburn-Hall over for a hat trick - was picked off by Garry Lo, who ran 90 metres to score at the other end.

“When Gareth’s pass was intercepted it was them or us,” said Marshall, who saw Moore sent off in the final seconds after a game that had simmered all afternoon finally erupted.

“I don’t know whether Lo was onside on or not, but if he doesn’t get that ball then James scores in the corner and there’s one try in it.

“Generally, it summed up our season; outstanding in patches, but not good enough across the 80 minutes.

“Our first half was shocking.

“To be fair, I thought absolutely everything stuck for them in that opening half but we addressed things in the second half and at one point it was in the balance again.”