Callum Howe is delighted with the way his pre-season is progressing.In a game that saw United field Youth Team players and several trialists, one of the club’s longest serving professionals in the squad spoke to The Iron Player following his side’s 4-1 victory in South Elmsall against Frickley.
The central defender, who turned professional 15 months ago, took the captain’s armband in the 4-1 win at Frickley, which saw him partner Luke Waterfall.
Speaking on his partnership with the former Gainsborough Trinity man, Howe spoke with optimism for the future of the pairing.
“We grew into the game together," he said.
“Obviously it’s only the second time we’ve played together this year, but hopefully it’s the start of a good partnership.”
The Doncaster-born centre-back spent time out on loan at Frickley last season, earning the Player of the Season Award at Westfield Lane following his good performances and bagging a goal as well.
He stated how important it was to get fixtures such as these under his belt at this stage of pre-season.
“It’s a good battle. They’re a good physical side," continued Howe.
“They came at us in the first twenty minutes and we had to deal with it. I think we got stuck in (to the challenge).”
He also took time to assess the team’s overall performance, as his side ran out comfortable winners in the end.
“In the end it ended up a good game," he stated.
“In the first half, I think we lowered ourselves a bit and it was a little bit scrappy from us at times.”
“In the second half we did a lot better. We came out and played some good football and got on the ball a lot more.”
For Callum, minutes on the pitch are pivotal to the start of the season, with the game against Frickley coming at the right time for him.
“It’s very important to play a lot of the game. It’s good to get game time and I’m feeling very good after the run out tonight," he said.
The Iron squad have been enduring double sessions for much of pre-season, but the time with the football against another side is something that is more important, according to the player who has been with the Iron since the age of 14.
“It’s hard work (training), but it’s different to games. Often you can find game situations harder," stated Howe.
“Today I think it was quite good, so I’m very happy with that.”
Being a defender, Howe was conscious that the Iron conceded a goal in the game once more. Despite winning three out of the four games played, the Iron have conceded once in each game, and it was something the centre-back was keen to take another look at.
“We will assess the goal (we conceded) next week. The young lads will go with Russ (Wilcox) and Daws’ (Andy Dawson) to see what we can do better and hopefully next time cut it out," said the defender.
It was a game which the 6ft 2in defender seemed to settle into though, gaining a solid performance at his former loan club.
“I felt better in the second half. I won the majority of my headers," he said.
“I’m hoping to get a good run out in some of the remaining pre-season fixtures.
“It will help to build up my match fitness because that’s the most important thing going into the season.”
Looking ahead to the start of the season, the young defender is approaching the League Two campaign with realism, but it is one he is looking forward to.
“Hopefully I can play a few games if I can," he said.
“Obviously Mirf (David Mirfin) and Niall (Canavan) are going to be first choice, but I want to push them as much as possible.”
See much more from Callum Howe, Brian Laws and Luke Waterfall on The Iron Player.