FC Halifax Town: Skipper Brown glad to be back in training

FC Halifax Town captain Matty Brown says it’s good to be back after an enforced break of 14 weeks.

Football - FC Halifax Town v Woking at the MBI Shay Stadium. Matty Brown for Town.
Football - FC Halifax Town v Woking at the MBI Shay Stadium. Matty Brown for Town.

The Shaymen returned to training this week as preparations began for their play-off clash at Boreham Wood next month.

”It’s been good,” said Brown. “Monday was the first day back and we did some testing to see where we’re at physically and make sure everyone had complied with the work they’d been given (during lockdown).

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”We had a Zoom meeting on Monday night and the gaffer was stressing how pleased he was with everyone and the fact that they came back in such great shape.

”I think everyone’s been doing their own bits anyway - it’s a bit unprofessional if you haven’t - and it’s been backed up by the lads’ scores in the fitness tests.

”Then we went into our small groups of six and did what we could with the restraints at the minute.

”It was still enjoyable, even though it wasn’t normal contact training. Fair play to Milly (Chris Millington, assistant manager) and the gaffer, they’ve made the sessions as interesting as they could.

”It was short and sharp.

”We’re in different time-slots, there six of us at nine o’clock, next lost at ten, then eleven, so it’s pretty spread out and there’s some lads I haven’t really caught up with yet.

”It’s more mentally that it’s good to be back, just to get amongst the lads and get that buzz back.

”I think we’ll see it more when we go to contact training, but so far, so good.

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”It’s a nice change because we’ve had the shackles on for a long time and we weren’t able to do much.

”But things are getting back to normal now.”

A place in the play-off semi-finals will be at stake when Town take on Boreham Wood, but Brown feels it’s important his team-mates don’t start focusing on the match just yet.

”I think the lads are still mentally a week or two away from switching onto Boreham Wood,” he said.

”I think it’s important just to get back to football, get your body back used to doing what it’s meant to be doing, and just get some general fitness.

”We’ve still got a long time until the game, we don’t want to peak too early.

”We’re aware of who we’re playing and what their strengths and weaknesses are, but in terms of really dialling in on Boreham Wood, for me personally, that’s a couple of weeks, maybe 10 days down the line.

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”We’ve hopefully got a behind closed doors game and a game against a proper team to look forward to try and iron out any wrinkles.

”It’s more about getting back and getting that mental focus.

”It’s important you don’t commit too soon because you can just become obsessed and bogged down.

”We’ve got to focus on ourselves, keep things fresh and get through this little period.”

Brown says he didn’t mind his enforced break too much, and feels fit and ready to return to action.

”I was OK to be honest, besides missing the football, which I got my head round pretty quickly and distracted myself, setting yourself different challenges and doing things fitness wise you wouldn’t normally do,” he said.

”I half enjoyed it, even though it became a bit monotonous. It gave you a chance to reflect and assess things.

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”I feel refreshed now coming back, I feel like I’ve had a good break so I’m ready to go again.”

One player no longer in the Town squad is striker Devante Rodney, whose loan from Salford has not been extended into the play-offs.

”It’s gutting, obviously he’s done really well for us over two seasons now,” Brown said.

”He’s had that instant impact twice and really propelled us.

”Last season we were struggling when he came in and he got us safe. This season we were going through a bit of a patch and he gave the group that spark to go on and flourish, and earn the right to finish in the play-off spots.

”All the lads are gutted but as one door shuts, another door opens and it gives Tobi (Sho-Silva), Jame (Allen), the other lads, chance to stake a claim.

”We’ve got good competition in that position, we have lost a good player in Devante, but we wish him all the best and thank him for his efforts.”

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