Shay board bide their time after Aspin is axed

NEIL ASPIN: 'Probably needs a fresh start,' says FC Halifax Town director Bobby Ham.
NEIL ASPIN: 'Probably needs a fresh start,' says FC Halifax Town director Bobby Ham.
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FC HALIFAX TOWN director Bobby Ham insists the club has “no-one in mind at the moment” after calling time on Neil Aspin’s five-and-a-half-year reign.

The Shaymen sacked 50-year-old Aspin yesterday in the wake of a damaging start to the season that has left the West Yorkshire outfit second bottom of the National League with just five points from 10 games.

Chief scout Gareth McClelland will take charge of at least the next two games – fellow strugglers Southport visit The Shay tomorrow, with Gateshead due three days later – as the Halifax board last night started to sift through a host of applications.

Aspin had been the re-formed club’s only full-time football employee since the start of last season after previously combining the role with his own ‘day’ job for his first five years at Halifax.

Whether Halifax stick with a full-time manager will depend on a number of factors, including the calibre of applicant and the eventual appointment’s personal circumstances.

Speaking about a decision he admits was “very hard to make”, director Ham told The Yorkshire Post: “We have no-one in mind at this moment. No-one is in the frame or anything like that.

“We have put Gareth McClelland in charge for the next two games and the job has been advertised.”

Aspin had done a magnificent job in steering Halifax to three promotions and then to the Conference play-offs in 2013-14.

He also made a number of impressive signings with England international Jamie Vardy, Millwall striker Lee Gregory and Barnsley defender Marc Roberts all having had spells at The Shay under the 50-year-old.

Since February, the Shaymen have won just twice and taken 17 points from 25 league games.

Ham added: “The decision is one that was very hard to make. Over the past six years, Neil has done a tremendous job. A first class job, in fact, so the decision was taken with sadness.

“But, since February, things have just not been going right and we felt it time for a change. It is always a gamble to change manager but we feel this is to the benefit of both ourselves and Neil. He probably needs a fresh start.”

Aspin also led Halifax to the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy twice and won the West Riding County Cup.