Evergreen Whitaker Loving His Role In Return Of The Macc!

Danny Whitaker, Macclesfield Town’s very own Benjamin Button, is desperate to secure the National League title and the midfielder reckons there are still a few years left in his experienced legs yet!

The 37-year-old, much like the Silkmen, continues to defy the odds. He has missed just two of the club’s National League fixtures this season in what has been a campaign to remember.

The Cheshire side know they can seal the title on Saturday if they beat Leyton Orient in the lunchtime BT Sport live game and Tranmere drop points against Aldershot later in the day.

Whitaker, a scorer of eight goals this season, sums up Macclesfield well. Consistent, honest and criminally underrated. The midfielder, who only seems to get better with age, told us: “I think the gaffer has called me Benjamin Button on more than one occasion!

“I have no secret unfortunately. I just look after myself off the pitch and eat the right things. One of the most important things is my love of the game - I live for it.

“Injury-wise, I’ve been really fortunate. I’d like to think that my fitness is still up there so to test myself in the Football League again would be fantastic, especially at my age. Barring any injuries, I’d say another couple of seasons at least is realistic.

“I’ve really enjoyed my football this season and if we get promotion - and we’re nearly there - would be an unbelievable achievement.

“I was devastated when Macclesfield dropped out of the Football League, it was a very sad day.

“When I came back five years ago, I always knew the gaffer would be able to put a team together that was able to challenge. I just didn’t know how long it would take. Luckily, I’m able to play a part in it - it’s really special."

Macclesfield have been one of football’s greatest stories this season. Forced to rebuild in the summer yet again, John Askey somehow assembled a championship-calibre squad on a shoestring.

Whitaker has been one of his dependable warriors over the past few years. A mainstay in Macclesfield’s League Two sides in the early 2000s, the experienced former Manchester United trainee returned in 2013 and has again been a consistent performer in his second spell at the Moss Rose.

“We only had four players signed up during pre-season that were with us last season so it was a complete rebuild of the squad,” he added.

“When you do that, people start to worry because it can go one way or the other. For us, it’s gone extremely well which nobody could have predicted really. Putting together a squad isn’t easy, especially on the budget the gaffer has had but he’s pulled a few strings and luckily it’s gone really well. Anything can happen in football.

“The lads have produced at very important times. We’ve gone into every single game believing we can win it. We went into the away games at Aldershot and Tranmere in February with the same focus and got two fantastic results. I think they were a big turning point - people didn’t think we’d get much out of those and we’ve kicked on since then.”

Macclesfield will be under no illusions on Saturday. Leyton Orient would love to put a spanner in the works - especially in front of the BT cameras.

If the Silkmen are victorious, they’ll be keeping a close eye on Tranmere’s result knowing anything but a Rovers win would seal the title.

“It’s always nice to play on TV but with the position we’re in, it’s a little bit more special,” Whitaker added.

“Every match in the National League is difficult and poses different problems. Orient have picked up recently but we’ll go into it like we have the past four or five games, full of confidence.

“I’ll probably just stay at the club after our game if we win and watch the scores come in! It will be a fantastic achievement if we can secure promotion.

“I started my senior career with Macclesfield and when I left, I always said I wanted to come back. There were some dark times when I first returned five years ago but we’re past that now and hopefully going on to bigger and better things.”

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