SALFORD lad Liam Hogan has been named as the club captain ahead of the start of the 2017-18 season.
The centre-back, 28, joined us from Gateshead at the start of the summer, who he led to eighth in the National League last season, and says he is thrilled to be named captain for his home city club.
He told the club website: “I’m absolutely delighted, obviously I've stood in a few times previously in former teams and last year I took the role on full time and really enjoyed it; it adds something extra and as my local team, I couldn’t be happier.
“My character is one that demands and always sets good standards, but knowing there are lads who’ve got good standards and are going to be looking up to you, you’ve got to be making sure you’re doing the right things and I’m that type of player who prides themselves on doing well every day so fingers crossed that will rub off on the lads.
“If you look at our dressing room I’m lucky because it’s a tough choice for the gaffers; there’s four, five, six lads that have been a captain, or got the little extra things a captain needs.
“The managers say a lot of things off the pitch, prepare you for stuff, the coaches prepare you for stuff, but when you cross the line and go out on a match day you’re managing it for them because they can set out instructions, but you’re in the game, you know what things are happening.
“I want to be a player that can pass stuff on that I’ve learnt in previous teams and from previous managers, and to help the younger lads to develop and be the best that they can be because essentially, if I can give what I can to the lads to push each other and give that extra 5%, as a whole that’s going to lift the whole group.
“I’ve been in this league before with Halifax and we went up via the play-offs, and I’m not saying if we were to go up via the play-offs it would be a bad thing this year because it’s not - promotion is the ultimate goal - but to actually win the trophy, to be the outstanding team over the number of games we’ve got to play, it’s a tough league and that’ll mean more than anything really.
“I’ve had a few good moments in football but to actually do that, that would top it, and that’s a long way to go but essentially I would love to see this team and myself, next year, in the league above.”
With a number of big characters in the squad who could have potentially been captains, joint manager Bernard Morley says the decision was a tough one from him and Anthony Johnson, but making the right decision was important:
“It was very tough, there’s a good four or five leaders out there which is a good thing for us going forward.
“Liam’s a leader on and off the pitch, he’s organised, he commands better from everybody even when he’s not at it himself, he still commands better from everybody else which is a good captain.
“He sets examples, he works hard on and off the pitch; it was difficult but I think we’ve picked the right one.
“The main thing for a captain that we’ve learnt over the last nine years is that your captain is your manager, he’s the manager on the pitch, he’s your eyes and ears, he’s in charge out there and it’s important that he’s singing off the same hymn sheet as me and Jonno in terms of leadership and commanding better around him from his players.
“Liam sets his standards high and he has done in the last couple of games, and when he’s been at fault he’s been the first to hold his hands up, he’s an honest lad, so while he’s out on that pitch we expect him to be our eyes and ears.”
Hogan will lead the team out in this afternoon’s opening fixture against Darlington.
Updated 16:14 - 18 Aug 2017 by Hugh Noble