FC HALIFAX TOWN are expected to make Neil Aspin their first full-time manager since the club was re-formed.
The Shaymen overcame all the odds last season to reach the Conference play-off semi-finals despite being one of only a handful of part-time sides in the fifth tier.
Keen to build on such an impressive first campaign in the top division of non-League, Halifax, formed out of the remnants of the old club that folded in 2008, want Aspin to go full-time. Further talks are planned this week and it is hoped Aspin, who has led the club to three promotions and two play-off semi-finals in five seasons at The Shay, will sign a new two-year deal in the coming days.
Director Bobby Ham last night told The Yorkshire Post: “Discussions are on-going and I think we are nearly there over Neil going full-time. We have a few things that need ironing out but I am sure things will be all right, in the end.
“These things take time but, hopefully, we will be there very soon.
“Neil going full-time will be a big thing for the club, particularly in terms of our preparation and also scouting players and other teams.
“There are a lot of youth team games and reserve team games that are played every day of the week and he will now be able to scout them.
“Then, if we need loan players, it means our net will be wider and that is a big plus.”
In his first five years at The Shay, Aspin has combined his duties as manager with a ‘day’ job looking after rental properties, a role that could take him anywhere across the north.
Halifax’s attempts to improve their fortunes on the field will also see the club’s training regime extended.
Last season, Aspin would only see his squad on Saturdays and then again on both Tuesday and Thursday nights. If the club had a game on Tuesday night – as was the case most weeks in 2013-14 – that would mean the squad only trained together for, at most, a couple of hours per week.
Now, though, plans are afoot to extend not only the amount of training Halifax will do but also use new facilities.
Ham, who along with chairman David Bosomworth relaunched Halifax six years ago, said: “We are looking to give Neil a better facility this season and more time with the players.
“The plan is to train all day Mondays, as well as Tuesday night – when we don’t have a game – and Thursday night.
“Last season, if we played on a Tuesday then Neil only had the players for one night a week. We are looking to do a deal with a local football club, where it is a lovely set-up and the facilities are excellent.
“The deal is almost done and that will be great for both the players and Neil.”
Meanwhile, Doncaster Rovers prospective new owner Louis Tomlinson has made a flying visit to the club’s pre-season training camp in Portugal ahead of tomorrow’s expected go-ahead for the completion of the takeover by the One Direction singer and John Ryan.
Once the new owners are in place, Rovers manager Paul Dickov will be able to kick-start his recruitment plans and sign the host of players that have been training with the club in recent weeks.
“The plan is to go straight back up,” said Doncaster-born Tomlinson. “I think we have got the players here to do that. There is definitely the belief and ambition. So, hopefully, all that, combined with a little bit of luck, we will get there.”