FC Halifax Town boss Chris Millington affirms EFL ambitions after FA Trophy win over Gateshead at Wembley
A 1-0 win over Gateshead secured the silverware, giving supporters reason for celebration after a National League season full of ups and downs.
Youth was at the heart of Halifax’s victory, with Jamie Cooke and Angelo Cappello among the standout performers.
Speaking after the match, Millington said: “We want to get into the Football League. Listen, we're not going to hide away from that so we can't just be a platform for people to come in and springboard them into the Football League without us. We need to be able to hold on to them long enough to get us in there.”
When Millington arrived as the assistant to previous boss Pete Wild, a decision was made to lose one of the two properties used to house players.
The thinking behind the decision was to focus the club on recruiting Yorkshire talent. Among the Yorkshiremen who started for the Shaymen in their Wembley victory was Halifax-born captain Jack Senior.
Millington explained: “At the time, the club had two clubhouses with eight bedrooms in them. That means it's just an easy option to recruit from a much broader field.
“The decision was taken to take away one of the houses, which halved the number of bedrooms to four. That really narrow focused us on lads who were Yorkshire-based, ideally Yorkshire born and bred.”
Halifax’s quality in the final third was superior to Gateshead’s under the Wembley arch, although it was the character of the Shaymen that Millington focused his praise towards.
He said: “They are fantastic human beings. We will, as a staff, drive them mad at times and likewise a number of them drive us crazy at times. But, the level of sacrifice they make – they don't have all the bells and whistles, they don't have all the frills at [FC] Halifax Town.”