Boss: Discussion underway with potential new signing
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Boss: Discussion underway with potential new signing

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Halifax manager Chris Millington says talks with prospective new players have started.


The Town manager believes those spoken to so far are “mainly players who we’d be considering down the spine of the team” and that discussions will continue 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.

“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.”

Town will look for a new striker after Rob Harker left 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.

“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.”

According to Millington, Town will also call their out-of-contract players this week to ask 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.

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

Town have offered new contracts to all of their other out-of-contract players and exercised their 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 stated.

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

“So it’s up to us as a staff and the players we have in the building to stand up and become the next Milli Allis, Jesse Debrah, and Jack Senior.

“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.”

Justin Iwobi, a promising striker, is one of the players who is leaving the club.

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

“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.”

Millington says he plans to work with a squad of 22 or 23 first-team players next season, and he aims to have about 80% of his squad in place by the time Town returns 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 scheduled for Saturday, August 3, one week before the start of the new season.

 

 

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