SLP; Striker is Pur-ely glad to be back in familiar surroundings

Saturday 24th November 2018

St Ives Town v Banbury United

Southern League Premier Division

Westwood Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury United have had a terrific week after re-signing Ravi Shamsi on loan and then pulling off a stunning single goal victory on Tuesday evening against AFC Rushden & Diamonds, in which the front man was voted man of the match as they gained a much needed three points in what has been a difficult spell for the squad, the win was only their second in their last thirteen games in all competition. They travel on Saturday to fifth bottom St Ives Town who themselves were, until last weekend, on the back of nine defeats in a row in all comps. but put a stop to that with a good two-nil win over Halesowen Town; a United win would see them on the verge of the play-offs whereas defeat would pull their hosts within two points of them in the Southern League Premier Division Central table.

Ravi Shamsi

This week Sports Shots caught up with the returning striker to ask how easy a decision it was to come back to Banbury:

It was very easy for me to join, I had lost my way a bit by going to Halesowen and I needed to get my confidence back, so Banbury was the right choice because I know all the lads here & it’s just what I need to try and get myself back into the Maidenhead set up

What is his favoured position in the side, and is a permanent move back to the Community Hire Stadium ever likely?

I think in a team like Banbury it’s better if I do play in the middle because Kaz (Greg Kaziboni) & Georgio (Rasulo) are very creative players, my runs will help them make better forward passes. I think a move back permanently right now isn’t in my plans, I’m still very young and I’m trying to get myself back into full time football, but what the future holds who knows!

How is it playing in front of the Banbury supporters, and what is his favourite memory of them?

Every time I’ve played here the support has been incredible, the fans are always behind the boys. I think my favourite moment was when I came on and scored that over head kick to win a game, that was definitely one of the best goals I’ve ever scored

We asked Ravi what the manager has asked of him this time round as the club look to get back on track:

I think the last time we won was when I was last here, but the gaffer has told me to pick up where I left off last time, keep working hard for the team and when I get the ball to make it count. I think the team is more than good enough to turn this round so we have to stay positive and just keep working hard

What has been the biggest difference in levels at the various clubs he’s played for?

The biggest difference in this league is having the right team around you, if they don’t know how to use you properly then you cannot show your full potential. I think the difference with other leagues higher than this is that the tempo of the game is much faster, you have to be concentrating for ninety minutes and the players at higher levels are much quicker and stronger

Looking ahead to St Ives this week, is this a must win game, and what info does Ravi have on them after playing against them recently?

This is a big game for us, the type of game we should be winning. I played against them last weekend for Halesowen and they bullied us, I think this game will suit Banbury because of the horrible side of the game that we are very good at. They’re a team that work very hard but I think we have the quality to bring the three points home

First game back in the red n gold saw a win over Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday, how did the game go and which of his team mates impressed?

It was good to be back and playing with these boys, I enjoyed it and I think I played well, I could have taken my chances but that will come naturally. The boys put in a shift and we deserved everything that we put into it. I think Kaz & the left back Matty (Matt Taylor) pleased me the most, everyone did well but I think if I had to pick then those two played very well. Diggs (Steve Diggin) also scored his first goal so hopefully he & I up front can feed each other

Finally, we asked for a vision of the future, and a prediction for the end of this season:

I’m hoping to finish the season on at least fifteen goals, and I want to be back playing full-time football so that’s the aim. I’m not sure where I’ll be yet but somewhere in the football league if I reach the goals I’ve set for myself

Sports Shots would like to thank Ravi for his time this week

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