“Cameron King is Town’s most creative player, and is often the conduit through who most of their attacks either start or finish”
The opposition interview series continues, with press man Tom Scargill back for a 3rd time this season to discuss FC Halifax Town
Hi Tom so the last time we spoke was the Trophy game, what were your thoughts on that one?
I thought the conditions played a massive part in the game. First half Halifax did very well to survive the Torquay onslaught, and then second half I thought Town shaded it and again defended very resiliently. In the end, I think Halifax had that little bit of quality to create the better chances, and finish them off, while Torquay were not clinical enough, and didn’t take the lead when they were on top in the early on.
How’s the team’s recent form been heading into the game at Plainmoor?
Barring their awful display in defeat to Halesowen last time out in the FA Trophy, very good. As far as the league goes, Town are far higher than any fan could have wished for at this stage of the season, and their league form has been tremendous – five wins in a row and six wins out of eight. Since their 5-1 hammering at Stockport on Boxing Day, the manager and the players have reacted brilliantly and deserve a lot of credit for doing so.
Remind us which players we should look out for and why?
Devante Rodney would be my pick. He’s back on loan at the club, having scored 7 goals in 12 games on loan last season. And he’s picked up where he left off. He missed the Halesowen game having already played in the competition this season on loan at Stockport, so should be chomping at the bit to return to action. He’s quick, strong and direct and with an eye for goal. Attacking midfielder Cameron King is Town’s most creative player, and is often the conduit through who most of their attacks either start or finish, possessing excellent vision, composure and skill.
How do you rate Halifax’s promotion chances?
I think they’d have as good a chance as anyone in the play-offs. Obviously finishing in 2nd or 3rd would be a big advantage as it means you automatically advance into the semi-final, which is at your ground. In a one-off game at the Shay, I wouldn’t bet against them. Injuries to key players like Rodney or King would have an impact, but if they had a first choice 11, then I think they’d have a very good chance. There are some superb sides in that top 7 at the moment, but Halifax would take some stopping if they can get in there.
If Town do go up could the club cope with the step up to League Two?
That’s a good question. The chairman has stated many times in the past that the club is run as lean as it can be, meaning there are as few full-time staff as possible so that as much cash can be directed towards the first team budget as possible. But running a Football League club does place more demands on a club than in the National League I would imagine, so the club would probably have to expand it’s operation off the pitch. But having someone like Pete Wild in charge would mean they have a manager who has been in charge of a League Two club recently, which means the transition on the pitch should be smooth. I’d like to think the club would cope, but I’m sure it would be a busy summer getting everything in place for the start of the new season.
Who are the owners and how well do they engage with the fans?
David Bosomworth and former footballer Bobby Ham are the two directors, with Bosomworth the chairman. I think most fans would agree he has done a sound job over the last 12 years in helping the club get back to the 5th tier – the big question among the supporters is can he lead them back into the Football League? Bosomworth has repeatedly said that is his ambition, and if it was achieved, he could then very well stand aside knowing he had done what he set out to do.
He is very financially stringent and extremely determined to avoid any repeat of the financial difficulties the club suffered when it went bust. But in doing so, some supporters, rightly or wrongly, feel he is sometimes too tight with the purse strings. But the club is in a good position financially, not owing any huge sums to anyone. He has been criticised in the past for not perhaps being as forthcoming as he might have been with the fans in terms of communication, but I think that has got better in recent years. They hold fairly regular fans forums and do react to any major issues that are bothering the supporters with statement on the club website.
What sort of away following will Town bring to Plainmoor?
Similar to the last game I would have thought – maybe 50-100.
It seems a lifetime ago since we beat you 4-2 at the Shay, what’s your prediction for the weekend?
I think, looking at the recent form of both sides, that Town will again shade it, maybe another 2-1.
torquaytalk.com – @TORQUAYTALK
Away Sponsor of Kyle Cameron