Shay recruits on show

Football - Brighouse Town v FC Halifax Town. FC Halifax Town Manager Billy Heath (2nd from left).
Football - Brighouse Town v FC Halifax Town. FC Halifax Town Manager Billy Heath (2nd from left).
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FC Halifax Town boss Billy Heath has confirmed that summer recruits Connor Oliver, Bohan Dixon and Martin Riley will all be on show in Saturday’s opening friendly away to Brighouse Town (3.0)

Heath, who has also made goalkeeper Sam Johnson a permanent fixture in the squad after the player was on loan last term, said: “All the new players will play some part.”

Oliver joined the Shaymen at the start of the week from Heath’s old club North Ferriby United.

The 23-year-old can play in defence or midfield and made 26 appearances for the Humberside club in the National League last season.

Oliver started his career with Sunderland before making 10 appearances for Blackpool, but has also played on loan at Hartlepool and Morecambe.

Midfielder Dixon has switched from National League North champions AFC Fylde while defender Riley linked up with Town from Wrexham.

Halifax started their build-up to last season’s promotion-winning campaign at Hove Edge 12 months ago with an 8-1 win.

They will be expected to notch a repear success at the weekend as Evo-Stik NPL side Brighouse look to pull things together under new manager Vill Powell after numberous departures.

Only six of last season’s squad remain and Brighouse were yet to announce any new signings in midweek, although they did have 30 players at training last weekend.

Halifax have a more settled squad than 12 months since but have been back in training for a shorter time after a prolonged 2016-17 campaign due to the play-offs.

Heath said: “It is a bit different to last year. We’d had three or four more training sessions at this stage.

It is the first pre-season game and it is a chance to dust off the cobwebs but I am a big believer in still trying to win every game.

“There is four weeks to the new season and we are on the countdown now.”

Heath is hoping for another addition or two to his squad next week, having found it difficult to recruit in a buoyant market this summer.

“We know we still need a couple more new faces at least.”

Powell is one player Heath has tried signed, although that was in the dim and distant past when Heath was cutting his managerial teeth and Powell was a prolific striker.

“I’ve know Vill for a long time and I once tried to sign him when I was at Bridlington, but it did not come off,” said Heath.