Saturday 19th January 2019
Banbury United v Coalville Town
Southern League Premier Division
Banbury Community Plant Hire Stadium
Banbury United host Coalville Town on Saturday knowing victory will bring them level on points with their guests although they have played four games more, but more importantly three points could bring them within another win or two of the play-off positions as the division starts to show a slight split between the top and bottom halves, but a good run from anyone could still shake this league up despite the top two sides being streets ahead of the rest. Stourbridge & Kettering seem to be battling it out for automatic promotion at this stage, but then just six points separate third placed King’s Lynn and eleventh place Banbury, and United thought they were on a roll with two successive wins in January however defeat last weekend at Stourbridge means they need to regroup and start again, Coalville haven’t lost in their last six matches with four wins and two draws and victory could edge them into those top five positions so both teams have it all to play for.
This week Sports Shots caught up with midfielder George Nash & firstly winger Greg Kaziboni to ask when he joined the club and what brought him here:
I’ve been at Banbury since the start of this season, the thing that attracted me here was the gaffer as I liked his vision and his ideas so I jumped on board
George has been at the club a little longer:
I joined the club in October 2015 and by my maths – albeit very limited – that means I’ve been here for just over three years. I initially came on loan from Worcester City at a time when Banbury were just entering a new chapter in their history, but despite the change it was the club’s noticeable ambition, the loyal support, the commitment to a playing philosophy, and the warm palpable sense of community that drew me in and confirmed almost instantly, that this was where I wanted to play my football. I’ve enjoyed great success at Banbury that far exceeds the tangible rewards, promotion from the South and West division being the obvious example that inevitably come as a result of being part of a great club. I’ve shared some memorable moments with some great people, the players, staff & supporters that will undoubtedly stay with me for a long time. The pleasure has always been, and always will be mine
What does George believe is his best position in the side, and what formation most suits his style?
I’m not hugely particular when it comes to formations, but I’m most effective as a holding midfield player – my goal to game ratio can attest to that – where I can pick things up in front of the back four and distribute to our attacking personnel. It’s a fairly unglamorous responsibility, but a role I’m suited to and one that hopefully enables our forward players to go and do their business
Greg likes the position he’s been played so far:
I’m one of those players who will play anywhere that the gaffer tells me to, but I do enjoy being out on the wing, I would say from our results this season our best formation is four-four-two
How has Greg’s season been personally and as a team on the whole?
Previous to this season I had a really bad injury that saw me miss a couple of years of football so as this is my first season back it’s been good, I’m currently the top goal scorer from a wide position so I can’t complain. I think the team has done well and we are still on course to achieve our goal of finishing in the play-off places, we are very good at home and just need to try and pick up some more points on the road and we should be fine
George also started this season after some time away from the game:
Coming back from a period of extensive travelling without a proper pre-season meant I was always going to be playing catch-up, but even so I’ll be the first to admit that my performances weren’t up to the standards I expect of myself in those first couple of months. More recently though I’ve been getting back to the level I need to be at, so I want to ensure I retain those standards going forward
Coalville this week at home, what does George remember of the draw at there place back in November?
The game was a tough physical affair but was also an important turning point in our season, coming back from a goal down with ten men away from home was testament to our character and belief that day, so if we can once again replicate that determination for ninety minutes in front of the home crowd, we have every chance of picking up an important 3 points
Greg believes the home form can over turn their guests:
We drew at their place following a bad run of form so the objective that day was just to get something from the game which we did. I remember their midfielder with long hair scoring a screamer that probably deserved all three points but our captain Ricky (Johnson) made sure that wasn’t the case with a great header in the dying minutes. This Saturday we just need to do what we have done at home and start on the front foot, they will have threats but nothing we can’t handle, hopefully we can get all the cherries!
We asked Greg if he thinks Banbury are good enough to make those play-off places?
I do think we are good enough to make it, but we’re just a bit of an underdog in the race when you consider other sides budgets, we are one that will surprise a lot of people come the end of the season. The play-offs are something we do talk about frequently but we take each game as it comes and don’t get too far ahead of ourselves, its always about the next game and that’s what we focus on
George agrees on the one game at a time theory:
The play-offs at this stage, aren’t something we ever discuss but there’d be no point in turning up for training and games every week if we didn’t have belief in what we can collectively achieve this season. We certainly have the footballing ability, but this league has consistently shown that to be successful, you need to be prepared to do all aspects of the game and do them well. It might be a cliché, but we are very much taking every game as it comes
Two wins and a defeat since the turn of the year, how does George view those games?
Given our results against Stratford and Halesowen, it was important that we started picking up points again quickly and so the results against Alvechurch and Barwell were huge. It also meant we continued our strong recent home form which is vital for any team hoping to do well. Of course, the result at Stourbridge was disappointing, but there were plenty of positives to be taken from our performance. It’s certainly something to build on
Greg feels they did well in all three games:
These were three games which we played well although not winning the last one, so for me that’s a positive as we’ve lost to a team that for me, will probably go on and win the league so we can’t be too down about it, I feel we have done well
Who does Greg think will finish in the top five spaces?
Being honest I couldn’t say who will finish in the top five because its been a season where everyone has beat everyone, and the gap between the top ten teams is really tight. I do think Stourbridge & Kettering will be up there along with Banbury but I don’t know which other teams will be joining us
George concurs with the top two places:
Presently it’s likely that Kettering and Stourbridge will be up there come the end of the season, but other than that it really is anyone’s for the taking. Our own results have shown that in this league, nothing is guaranteed so every week is going to be a battle. Our hope is that in April we still have something to play for, but there’s still a long way to go and plenty of points up for grabs
Finally we asked George to pick anyone in the squad he could give a new job to just for twenty-four hours:
Good question. I’d probably pick Edmund Hottor to be my personal bodyguard for the day. No one would dare come near me…
Greg picks a defender:
I’d get Charlie Wise to be a referee because every game without fail he gives them abuse so it would be nice to see him on the receiving end!
Sports Shots would like to thank Greg & George for their time this week